This booklet has been informed by responses to a survey of lay welfare guardians, carried out in November 2005. I am grateful to all those who shared their experiences of the application process and advised me about the information and assistance that would have helped at the time. Most carers wanted simple, but full, information about what was involved in making an application. This included having a better knowledge of the court process and understanding of the roles of the different officers and agencies involved. Many reported a lack of information about costs or legal aid provisions and did not know where to turn for help. Some guardians offered further help and it is to these kind people I turned to with a request to read and comment on the final draft. Their time and effort is very much appreciated, in particular thanks go to Marion Sievewright and Dr Iain White also to Stuart Fowler and colleagues at the Office of the Public Guardian.
AWI National Practice Co-ordinator (2005-2007)
Email: Alison Mason