OPG Internships, Externships, and Volunteer Programs

OPG Internships, Externships, and Volunteer Programs

Internships & Externships

Internships and externships are available pending staff supervision availability. The Office of Public Guardian has previously offered internships and externships for undergraduate and graduate students studying law, criminal justice, nursing, social work, psychology, counseling, gerontology, business, accounting, public administration, and other relevant academic programs.

When internship or externship openings occur, the position(s) will be posted on https://statejobs.nebraska.gov

Volunteer Successor Guardian and/or Conservator

The Office of Public Guardian serves as the guardian and/or conservator of last resort. The OPG is statutorily required to seek out successor guardians to create additional caseload capacity. Sometimes this can be done through the person’s natural supports, but for a variety of reasons, this is not always possible. When that is the case, the OPG seeks out qualified volunteers to build relationships with individuals with the goal of becoming the successor guardian. Successor guardians and/or conservators play a vital role in improving the lives of vulnerable adults in our state who have few supportive relationships in their lives.

Role of a Volunteer Successor Guardian and/or Conservator

A successor guardian and/or conservator has duties and responsibilities to the ward/protected person and the court as defined by the court order. 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; and
  • Any other area which the court may direct. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-2628.

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 concluded by additional court action. Therefore, it is important for potential successor guardians and/or conservators to be committed and dedicated to serving the individual subject to guardianship for the duration of their need.

What is the typical time commitment?

Successor guardians enter into a close and committed working relationship with their ward and/or protected person. The guardian works to foster the personal growth and independence of the individual, and if the ward is in a stable and healthy living situation, guardianship is largely a matter of helping to maintain that health and stability. However, when emergencies or complications arise, the guardian is responsible for making themselves available to oversee and consent to the resolution. The time commitment may increase during periods of emergent need.

Application Process

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Volunteer Successor Guardian and/or Conservator, visit our Education & Outreach site HERE to submit an interest form.

Volunteer Court Visitor

Court Visitors

County courts regularly make decisions about a person’s potential need for a guardian and/or conservator. In cases where the Office of Public Guardian is nominated, the OPG must also be the last resort. The purpose of a Volunteer Court Visitor is to gather information that the court will then utilize to determine whether a guardianship is necessary, whether less restrictive alternatives are available, and whether the OPG is the last resort.

What is the time commitment?

Every case varies, but the average time spent on each case is approximately 10-15 hours. If the case becomes part of the waiting list or if there are other exigent circumstances, the court may ask you to continue monitoring the person’s circumstances at various times. Volunteer Court Visitors may request reimbursement for copies, postage, and travel through the court process.

The information gathering stage of the appointment as a Court Visitor involves:

  • Use a screening tool to gather information from and about the potentially incapacitated person
  • Visit the person in their home or current residential setting
  • Visit with the person’s family, friends, medical team, and/or providers
  • Collect information about how the individual processes information, makes decisions, and identify their overall ability to care for themselves
  • Combine the screening tool, interview notes, and collateral documentation into the Court Visitor Report

Application Process

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Volunteer Court Visitor, visit our Education & Outreach site HERE to submit an interest form.