Be a Volunteer Guardian for an Individual with DD!
May 28, 2019
The Volunteer Guardian Program provides many opportunities to serve individual with Developmental Disabilities (DD). I sat down with Liz Wynn, an active volunteer, who is the Day Hab Coordinator for Share and Kare, Inc., whose mission is to support individuals with disabilities. Liz provided an overview of how to best serve as a volunteer guardian to this population.
According to Liz, “When you serve as the guardian for an individual with DD, you become a member of an established and supportive team.” The team consists of various providers for housing, services, workshop, and day care. It also includes that individual’s assigned Service and Support Administrator (SSA) from the County DD Board who follows the individual’s case and makes sure that needed services are being provided. Finally, the team also can consist of family members who might not be able or willing to serve as guardian, but who still want to be involved and part of the team.
There is a team meeting at least one time per year that they guardian will want to attend. At the team meeting, the Individual Service Plan (ISP) with goals and outcomes to help improve quality of life is developed and reviewed. The ISP is submitted to the County Board by the SSA for oversight and monitoring.
For the guardian, making sure the ISP is being followed is critical. It is also important to have open communication with the providers and seek the assistance of the SSA for intervention, if needed.
Liz states that “when you serve as guardian to an individual with DD, you should remember that you are not alone. The DD system is very supportive and will help you along the way.”
Liz has been a volunteer guardian to an individual with DD for the last three years and finds the experience to be very rewarding!