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Nearly $900K grant to court may improve outcomes in guardianship cases for older adults

The Nevada Supreme Court has received $891,000 in federal grant dollars from the Elder Abuse Prevention Interventions Program to better administer and monitor guardianship cases for older adults within the Nevada Judiciary.

The two-year grant is from the Administration for Community Living, a division of Health and Human Services. The grant started Oct. 1 and will run through Sept. 30, 2023.

“The project will meet immediate needs to improve equity and innovate how guardianships are viewed, administered, and monitored within the Nevada judiciary,” a release from the court states.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Nevada Center for State Courts have partnered on the project.

Following the implementation of the 13 recommendations by the Nevada Permanent Guardianship Commission in 2018, the project will assess the current state of guardianship through data analysis conducted by the National Center for State Courts.

“The commission has identified four topics that warrant further study in order to implement the commission’s 2018 recommendations,” the court said. “The topics include data collection, disparate business processes within district courts, lay guardian training, and judicial training on reasonable alternatives to guardianship.”

According to the court, the proposed products for the project will help improve outcomes for “older adults who are or may become protected persons by improving training for Nevada’s judges on the less restrictive alternative to guardianship.”

The program will also provide training to guardians related to their responsibilities and “improve consistency in guardianship practice and monitoring statewide,” the court said.

Court-ordered guardians will see expanded access to training at no cost to them, which will positively impact all participants in the guardianship process, according to the court.

“Training will be expanded to hard-to-reach populations and Nevada’s limited English proficiency guardians,” the court said. “Attorneys will benefit from the proposed judicial training, as more options will be available to their clients in lieu of guardianship.”

The Elder Justice Innovation Grants program will target new and emerging issues related to elder justice and funded projects will contribute to the improvement of the field of elder abuse prevention and intervention. This may include such efforts as developing materials and programs that can be widely disseminated and/or replicated, or by establishing and/or contributing to evidence-based knowledge.

The Nevada Supreme Court created a permanent guardianship commission to address issues of concern in relation to people who may be subject to guardianship statutes, rules and processes in the state in 2017. That came after the court considered information submitted in a final report by the commission to study the administration of guardianships in the state.

The National Center for State Courts is an independent nonprofit organization focused on court improvement and was founded at the urging of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Warren Burger.

“He envisioned NCSC as a clearinghouse for research information and comparative data to support improvement in judicial administration in state courts,” the court states. “All of NCSC’s services — research, information services, education, consulting — are focused on helping courts plan, make decisions, and implement improvements that save time and money, while ensuring judicial administration that supports fair and impartial decision-making.”

The NCJFCJ is the oldest judicial membership organization in the country and provides all judges, courts, and related agencies involved with juvenile, family, and domestic violence cases with the knowledge and skills to improve the lives of the families and children who seek justice.

For more information on NCSC, please visit: https://www.ncsc.org/about-us.

For more information on NCJFCJ, please visit: https://www.ncjfcj.org/

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