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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XLIII
DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 744
GUARDIANSHIP
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F.S. 744.2001
744.2001 Office of Public and Professional Guardians.There is created the Office of Public and Professional Guardians within the Department of Elderly Affairs.
(1) The Secretary of Elderly Affairs shall appoint the executive director, who shall be the head of the Office of Public and Professional Guardians. The executive director must be a member of The Florida Bar, knowledgeable of guardianship law and of the social services available to meet the needs of incapacitated persons, shall serve on a full-time basis, and shall personally, or through a representative of the office, carry out the purposes and functions of the Office of Public and Professional Guardians in accordance with state and federal law. The executive director shall serve at the pleasure of and report to the secretary.
(2) The executive director shall, within available resources:
(a) Have oversight responsibilities for all public and professional guardians.
(b) Establish standards of practice for public and professional guardians by rule, in consultation with professional guardianship associations and other interested stakeholders, no later than October 1, 2016. The executive director shall provide a draft of the standards to the Governor, the Legislature, and the secretary for review by August 1, 2016.
(c) Review and approve the standards and criteria for the education, registration, and certification of public and professional guardians in Florida.
(3) The executive director’s oversight responsibilities of professional guardians must be finalized by October 1, 2016, and shall include, but are not limited to:
(a) Developing and implementing a monitoring tool to ensure compliance of professional guardians with the standards of practice established by the Office of Public and Professional Guardians. This monitoring tool may not include a financial audit as required by the clerk of the circuit court under s. 744.368.
(b) Developing procedures, in consultation with professional guardianship associations and other interested stakeholders, for the review of an allegation that a professional guardian has violated the standards of practice established by the Office of Public and Professional Guardians governing the conduct of professional guardians.
(c) Establishing disciplinary proceedings, conducting hearings, and taking administrative action pursuant to chapter 120.
(4) The executive director’s oversight responsibilities of public guardians shall include, but are not limited to:
(a) Reviewing the current public guardian programs in Florida and other states.
(b) Developing, in consultation with local guardianship offices and other interested stakeholders, statewide performance measures.
(c) Reviewing various methods of funding public guardianship programs, the kinds of services being provided by such programs, and the demographics of the wards. In addition, the executive director shall review and make recommendations regarding the feasibility of recovering a portion or all of the costs of providing public guardianship services from the assets or income of the wards.
(d) By January 1 of each year, providing a status report and recommendations to the secretary which address the need for public guardianship services and related issues.
(e) Developing a guardianship training program curriculum that may be offered to all guardians, whether public or private.
(5) The executive director may provide assistance to local governments or entities in pursuing grant opportunities. The executive director shall review and make recommendations in the annual report on the availability and efficacy of seeking Medicaid matching funds. The executive director shall diligently seek ways to use existing programs and services to meet the needs of public wards.
(6) The executive director may conduct or contract for demonstration projects authorized by the Department of Elderly Affairs, within funds appropriated or through gifts, grants, or contributions for such purposes, to determine the feasibility or desirability of new concepts of organization, administration, financing, or service delivery designed to preserve the civil and constitutional rights of persons of marginal or diminished capacity. Any gifts, grants, or contributions for such purposes shall be deposited in the Department of Elderly Affairs Administrative Trust Fund.
History.s. 4, ch. 99-277; s. 14, ch. 2003-57; s. 5, ch. 2003-262; s. 140, ch. 2005-2; s. 107, ch. 2013-18; s. 8, ch. 2016-40.
Note.Former s. 744.7021.