The Ada County Board of Community Guardians (BOCG) consists of seven to eleven volunteer members who set policies and review referrals for accepting new wards.
The BOCG receives 20-40 referrals for potential wards of Ada County each year. Only Ada County residents who are incapacitated, indigent and with no friends or family willing or able to serve as guardian are eligible for county guardianship. Consequently, each case must be screened and carefully vetted. The Program Manager reviews financial documents and medical records, searches for property ownership, and interviews with family, friends, health care providers and others. The Manager provides a recommendation based on this case investigation, and the BOCG will decide whether to accept the referral. If the BOCG accepts a potential ward, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office prepares a petition for the court’s consideration and appointment.
Once the court appoints Ada County as guardian of a new ward, the BOCG and Program Manager will advocate for their care and safety for the remainder of his or her life.
How do I make a referral?
If you know a vulnerable adult who may be a candidate for county guardianship, you may submit a Referral Application to the BOCG for consideration. The referral must give compelling information on the status of the potential ward, and include a physician’s letter on official letterhead stating the patient’s condition and why he or she is incapacitated. A referral is not complete without supporting medical documentation and a doctor’s letter.
Who is eligible to be a ward of Ada County?
Idaho Code defines an incapacitated person as “any person who is impaired … to the extent that he [or she] lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning his [or her] person” (excludes developmentally disabled persons). This includes any person who is unable to perform the normal tasks of daily living and who requires help from others in order to cope with those demands.
Our wards tend to be older adults with health issues, who are indigent and have no family capable of supporting their needs. Individuals who have sufficient financial resources for guardianship services, or who have a qualified family member or friend willing to serve as their guardian, are not eligible for county guardianship. Additionally, we cannot accept individuals who have active substance abuse issues.