7. Graded Guardianship
Even with all the help and support we can give them, some people will still be unable to make decisions for themselves. Because of this there will always be a need for guardianship orders.
It is important that guardianship orders should only be used when the adult cannot make their own decisions and the adult's wishes must be followed as far as they are known.
There is a problem with this system because guardians are being given a lot of power over adults with incapacity and the process of getting a guardianship often does not involve the adult.
We have suggested a kind of graded guardianship that can be made to suit the adult's needs and only lasts as long as it is needed.
We also want to make the system simpler, so that it would be easier for the adult to be at court hearings about their case if they want.
We are suggesting there should be three grades of guardianship:
Grade 1 Guardianship
A grade 1 guardianship would be quite easy and fast to apply for.
A grade 1 guardian would be able to do simple things for the adult like signing a tenancy agreement, handle the adult's money under a certain amount and deal with day to day welfare matters. They would not be able to change where the adult lives
Grade 1 guardianships require an application to the Office of the Public Guardian.
Grade 2 Guardianship
Grade 2 guardianships would be for adults who have more complex needs and who might need help to change where they live. Grade 2 guardians could also handle more of an adult's money.
Grade 2 guardianship would also be needed to make decisions about the adult's care which might take away some of the adult's freedom.
Grade 2 guardianships would have to be looked at by a Sheriff or Mental Health Tribunal. This would only have to be done in writing without going to court.
Grade 3 Guardianship
Grade 3 guardianships would only be made when the adult or some other person disagreed with the grade 1 or 2 application.
Grade 3 applications would go to Sheriff Court or a Mental Health Tribunal hearing would look at the case.
Do you agree with our ideas for a 3 grade guardianship system?
Please give reasons for your answer in the box below:
Is the system easy to use and flexible enough to cover all situations?
Please give reasons.
We propose that at every grade if an interested party wants a full hearing there should be one. Do you agree?
Please give reasons.
Please add any further comments you have on our ideas for graded guardianships.