Internships, Externships, and Volunteer Programs

Internships, Externships, and Volunteer Programs

Internships

Internships
Internships

The Office of Public Guardian has externships available for graduate students in law, criminal justice, nursing, social work, psychology, counseling, gerontology, business, accounting, public administration and other similar academic programs.

Externships are available for spring, summer and fall semesters. The Office of Public Guardian will work with students to ensure they meet the requirements of their programs. 

Externs will provide support to Associate Public Guardians who:

  • Investigate the financial, psychological, family and social histories of wards
  • Plan and arrange for services and housing for wards
  • Make home and facility visits and inspections
  • Make decisions about wards’ medical, surgical and hospitalization needs
  • Obtain financial benefits for which wards are eligible
  • Insure wards’ bills are paid
  • Prepare comprehensive personal and financial court reports
  • Maintain case records
  • Attend court hearings

Externs will provide support to Legal Counsels who:

  • Prepare information on the facts and status of guardianship and conservatorship cases.
  • Implement legal analysis regarding tax, immigration, property, estate planning, trust, wills, Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare issues
  • Research legal precedents, case reports, and other legal documents to collect information for case preparation
  • Prepare initial drafts of correspondence, motions, pleadings, orders, affidavits and other legal documents
  • Represent the OPG in guardianship and conservatorship legal actions in court

Externs will:

  • Research supports and services for ward specific issues, and provide reports on results with recommendations for follow-up
  • Contribute to ward visits, planning meetings and community resource coordination
  • Prepare legal exhibits, attend court hearings, and file legal documents using the OPG’s electronic case management system.
  • Review and update medical, financial, and legal case management records
  • Participate in legal counsel and case management update meetings
  • Attend Private Guardian/Conservator Education classes and provide support to instructor.
  • Enter private guardian surveys into on-line data base, and create reports from data collected
  • Attend Court Visitor Orientation sessions, provide support to instructor
  • Update and maintain community resource web-page information for private guardians and conservators
  • Develop and update community education and recruitment materials 

 

Students should have the highest personal and academic references. Criminal background check will be required. Inquiries should be directed to Chelsea Richardson, Education and Outreach Coordinator, at chelsea.richardson@gmail.com

Externships

Externships
Externships

The Office of Public Guardian has externships available for graduate students in law, criminal justice, nursing, social work, psychology, counseling, gerontology, business, accounting, public administration and other similar academic programs.

Externships are available for spring, summer and fall semesters. The Office of Public Guardian will work with students to ensure they meet the requirements of their programs. 

Externs will provide support to Associate Public Guardians who:

  • Investigate the financial, psychological, family and social histories of wards
  • Plan and arrange for services and housing for wards
  • Make home and facility visits and inspections
  • Make decisions about wards’ medical, surgical and hospitalization needs
  • Obtain financial benefits for which wards are eligible
  • Insure wards’ bills are paid
  • Prepare comprehensive personal and financial court reports
  • Maintain case records
  • Attend court hearings

Externs will provide support to Legal Counsels who:

  • Prepare information on the facts and status of guardianship and conservatorship cases.
  • Implement legal analysis regarding tax, immigration, property, estate planning, trust, wills, Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare issues
  • Research legal precedents, case reports, and other legal documents to collect information for case preparation
  • Prepare initial drafts of correspondence, motions, pleadings, orders, affidavits and other legal documents
  • Represent the OPG in guardianship and conservatorship legal actions in court

Externs will:

  • Research supports and services for ward specific issues, and provide reports on results with recommendations for follow-up
  • Contribute to ward visits, planning meetings and community resource coordination
  • Prepare legal exhibits, attend court hearings, and file legal documents using the OPG’s electronic case management system.
  • Review and update medical, financial, and legal case management records
  • Participate in legal counsel and case management update meetings
  • Attend Private Guardian/Conservator Education classes and provide support to instructor.
  • Enter private guardian surveys into on-line data base, and create reports from data collected
  • Attend Court Visitor Orientation sessions, provide support to instructor
  • Update and maintain community resource web-page information for private guardians and conservators
  • Develop and update community education and recruitment materials 

 

Students should have the highest personal and academic references. Criminal background check will be required. Inquiries should be directed to Chelsea Richardson, Education and Outreach Coordinator, at chelsea.richardson@gmail.com

Volunteer Successor Guardian and/or Conservator

Volunteer Successor Guardian and/or Conservator
Volunteer Successor Guardian and/or Conservator

Successor Guardians and/or Conservators are needed for:

Wards or protected persons currently under the care of the Office of Public Guardian. Individuals who have been deemed legally incapacitated with regard to making decisions on their own behalf by a court proceeding, and who have no one in their personal network to serve as a guardian or conservator can come to be under the care of the Office of Public Guardian. In order to fulfill statutory requirements and allow the Office of Public Guardian to serve on more (and more difficult) cases the OPG seeks to move stabilized wards/protected persons in our care to the care of qualified and willing members of the public. Successor Guardians/Conservators play a vital role in improving the lives of vulnerable adults in our state who have few significant or fulfilling relationships in their lives.

Role of Volunteer Successor Guardian and/or Conservator

A successor guardian and/or conservator has responsibilities defined by the court. These duties may include some or all of the following:

  • Selecting the individual’s place of residence

  • Arranging for medical care

  • Protecting personal effects

  • Giving necessary consents, approvals, or releases

  • Arranging for education, & services

  • Applying for private or governmental benefits

  • Ensuring that anyone required to help support the Ward does so

  • Entering into contractual agreements

  • Receiving money and applying these funds to housing, medical care, personal effects, education, and other services;

  • Any other area which the court may direct.

Becoming a successor guardian and/or conservator is ultimately the court’s decision. The Office of Public Guardian will provide information and support to successor guardians and/or conservators in the same manner that it is provided to other private guardians and conservators. Successor Guardianship and/or Conservatorship is a permanent responsibility which can only be terminated through court action.

What do I need to serve as a Volunteer Successor Guardian and/or Conservator?

  • Successful completion of the 3-hour Guardian/Conservator Education class

  • Copies of credit and background check information submitted to court when 1st appointed as a Guardian and/or Conservator.

  • Matching process with a potential ward or protected person and/or current guardian

  • Court appointment

What Is The Time Commitment?

Successor Guardians enter into a very close and committed relationship with their wards. This relationship can be compared to that of a parent and child. Sometimes the time commitment for parenting one's child can be quite extensive (to say the least). However, as a parent works to foster the personal growth and independence of their child, parenting becomes less and less of a time commitment even though it remains a constant responsibility. It is much the same with guardian and a ward. If an adult ward is in a stable and healthy living situation, guardianship is largely a matter of helping to maintain that health and stability. However, if and when emergencies or complications arise, as guardian you are responsible for making yourself available to deal with the situation. People volunteering as conservators, and not as guardians, can generally expect less of a time commitment as their role only pertains to maintaining a protected person's property and finances.

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If you are interested in speaking with someone about becoming a Volunteer Successor Guardian and/or Conservator please use the contact information below.

Contact:  Chelsea Richardson, Office of Public Guardian/Education & Outreach Coordinator

Phone: 402-378-1771

Email: chelsea.richardson@nebraska.gov

Volunteer Court Visitor

Volunteer Court Visitor
Volunteer Court Visitor

Court Visitors

The county courts of the State of Nebraska need  impartial members of the community to who are willing to volunteer to gather information for courts making decisions about the need for a guardians or conservators for potentially incapacitated individuals. The cases referred to the Office of Public Guardian will be those where no one else has been willing or able to act on behalf of the person identified to the court.

In this position, you would

  • Use a screening tool to gather information from and about the potentially incapacitated person.

  • Visit the person in their home.

  • Collect information about how they process information, make decisions, and their abilities to care for themselves.

  • Gather and report information to help the court decide:

    • Whether the person needs further clinical evaluations, where there are areas of conflicting information between various interviewees

    • Whether the person’s legal rights are being protected.

    • What level of decision making support will be most appropriate for each individual.

    • Whether there may be people in the individual’s personal support network to serve as a guardian.

Court Visitors Are Important

In a court proceeding that has the potential to remove a person’s civil rights, the Court Visitor is an important link in helping courts obtain independent information to make good and humane decisions for folks who have very few allies, advocates, or sanctuaries left in their lives.

Time Commitment

  • Estimate 5-20 hours per case. (15 hours average)

  • You would have control over the number of cases for which you volunteer.

  • Background training is mandatory for all Court Visitors and will be provided by the OPG.  This includes 5 hours of online training, followed by 6 hours of classroom orientation, so that combined with your background and experience, you would be prepared to gather information useful for the court.

You could become a contributor to court decisions tailored to a person’s individual decision making needs.   

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If you are interested in speaking with someone about becoming a Volunteer Court Visitor please use the contact information below.

Contact:  Chelsea Richardson, Office of Public Guardian/Education & Outreach Coordinator

Phone: 402-378-1771

Email: chelsea.richardson@nebraska.gov