The Office of Public Guardian was established in 1979 to provide guardianship and advocacy for legally incapacitated people (â€śwardsâ€ť) whose family members are unable to serve as their guardian. We provide services throughout to individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness, progressive cognitive loss due to dementia or other neurological disorders, and traumatic brain injuries. Since our founding, we have provided guardianship and advocacy services to over 4,000 people. Our professional staff has a combined 250 years of experience not only in providing professional guardianship services, but in related fields, such as law, social work, and counseling.
Our multidisciplinary approach to guardianship offers access to a variety of perspectives and gives the office flexibility to design caseloads based on the expertise and interests of each public guardian. Office of Public Guardian actively supports the National Guardianship Association (NGA). in setting standards of practice and promotes the certification of Office of Public Guardian through the Center for Guardianship Certification (CGC) . Our Executive Director and Deputy Director are certified as Master Guardians by the CGC. All Guardians are required as a condition of their employment to maintain certification as Registered Guardian through the CGC.
Public guardians are held to a high standard of accountability in New Hampshire by the probate court judges. Detailed reports of the person and accountings of the estate must be filed annually. The public guardian is often the only consistent factor in a personâ€™s life, the keeper of their history and values. Public guardians must be comfortable with their authority as substitute decision maker while exercising restraint from unnecessary interference in the individualâ€™s life. The Office of Public Guardian places great value in its long-standing cooperative working relationships with key agencies, institutions and stakeholders throughout the state on behalf of some of its most vulnerable citizens.
The Office of Public Guardian is committed to ensuring that our wards receive appropriate care, protection and services in the least restrictive manner possible. Our advocacy and decision-making are guided by the Office of Public Guardian Code of Ethics. Our code of ethics code sets forth six primary principles for guardians to follow, the most fundamental of which is the requirement that our guardians make decisions that conform with our wardsâ€™ preferences, except when doing so would be likely to cause substantial harm.