The mission of the Public Administrator is to work toward improving the quality of life for those under guardianship while protecting their dignity and self-respect. The National Guardianship Association’s Code of Ethics shall always be followed while seeking increased participation in decision-making with the client.
Function of the Public Administrator
The Public Administrator is appointed by the Missouri Circuit Court, Probate Division, to serve primarily on three types of cases.
- Guardian and/or Conservator for mentally disabled persons and persons with Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia.
- Personal Representative of deceased estates.
- Conservator of Minor. However, the majority of appointments in any Public Administrator’s office will be as guardian/conservator for mentally disabled persons.
Responsibilities of the Public Administrator
Surrogate Decision Making
“What would the client have wanted for themselves?” This principle protects the values, belief and view of the client.
Principle of Best Interest
When the guardian/conservator cannot determine what the client would have done in a particular situation due to the client not having relatives or friends around to give information when the client is unable to communicate their desires.
Full disclosure of facts-the guardian should use a systematic criteria set by the principles of the national Guardianship Association. Problem solving should include information from family members, doctors, nurses, minister, etc. It is also imperative that the guardian determine if a court order is required.
Coordinator and Monitor of Services
Working knowledge of services, service providers and facilities available in the community. The guardian should also be in control of the plan of medical and personal care for the client. A plan of care is best decided upon the client’s input (if at all possible) by assessing needs, strengths, and determining their goals. The guardian will then contract with service providers to meet the needs and complete the goals of the client. The guardian will monitor the client’s progress and assess the effectiveness of those services.
The Public Administrator should function as the financial planner and manager of care. The fiduciary relationship with the client shall be held in the highest standard of practice. Decisions should be made solely upon the interest of the client and avoid any conflict of interest. Relationships with service providers, financial institutions, realtors, auctioneers, hospitals, physicians and placement facilities such as group homes, residential care facilities and nursing homes, should be kept strictly professional.