Office of Public Guardian 2018 Annual Report Released by Nebraska Judicial Branch

Office of Public Guardian 2018 Annual Report Released by Nebraska Judicial Branch

Thursday, January 3, 2019

This year’s Office of Public Guardian Annual Report focuses on two main goals:  To provide the public and governmental officials with data about Nebraska’s public guardianships and to give voice to the untold stories of wards and protected persons who are reflected individually in the data.

In past years, because the Office of Public Guardian was a new entity to Nebraska, the annual report included development, implementation and program information about the Office of Public Guardian.

This year, development information is available on the Office of Public Guardian Website where it is updated through the year: https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/programs-services/office-public-guardian

The timeframe for data is December 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018, unless indicated as aggregate data.

During the past three years of accepting nominations, the office has processed 574 applications for potentially incapacitated persons. As of November 1, 2018, the office had an aggregate of 259 open cases. Within the 2017-2018 reporting year, the office was nominated in 166 cases statewide: 33 resulted in appointments; 17 are pending appointment, and 57 were referred to the Waiting List.

The 259 wards have 731 identified categories involving complex issues, including cognitive impairment, mental health diagnoses, developmental disabilities, substance/alcohol abuse, medical conditions, history of criminal justice involvement, and/or history of Mental Health Board commitments.

Respecting the privacy of the vulnerable adults served by the Office of Public Guardian, personal information is not usually shared. However, the report contains the untold stories of certain wards who passed away this year as a memorial. Additionally, some stories celebrate wards whose guardianship/conservatorship were terminated and decision making powers reinstated. Finally, examples of wards caught in social services system breakdowns are also included. All are identified by pseudonyms.

Read the stories of the minister whose bank accounts were emptied by his drug-addicted granddaughter, the hospital record-keeper who suffered from dementia, the 58-pound, nonverbal 38-year-old who was removed from her family’s home due to neglect, the brain-damaged paraplegic who lived in an inaccessible apartment and was “dumped” at a hospital by his rehabilitation facility, and others.

The full 50-page report can be found on the Judicial Branch Website: Office of Public Guardian 2018 Report. https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/sites/default/files/OPG-2018-Annual-Report.pdf