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The Florida Statutes

The 2004 Florida Statutes

Chapter 744
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Section 744.7021, Florida Statutes 2004

744.7021  Statewide Public Guardianship Office.--There is hereby created the Statewide Public Guardianship Office within the Department of Elderly Affairs.

(1)  The Secretary of Elderly Affairs shall appoint the executive director, who shall be the head of the Statewide Public Guardianship Office. The executive director must be a member of The Florida Bar, knowledgeable of guardianship law and of the social services available to meet the needs of incapacitated persons, shall serve on a full-time basis, and shall personally, or through representatives of the office, carry out the purposes and functions of the Statewide Public Guardianship Office in accordance with state and federal law. The executive director shall serve at the pleasure of and report to the secretary.

(2)  The executive director shall, within available resources, have oversight responsibilities for all public guardians.

(a)  The executive director shall review the current public guardian programs in Florida and other states.

(b)  The executive director, in consultation with local guardianship offices, shall develop statewide performance measures and standards.

(c)  The executive director shall review the various methods of funding guardianship programs, the kinds of services being provided by such programs, and the demographics of the wards. In addition, the executive director shall review and make recommendations regarding the feasibility of recovering a portion or all of the costs of providing public guardianship services from the assets or income of the wards.

(d)  By January 1, 2004, and by January 1 of each year thereafter, the executive director shall provide a status report and provide further recommendations to the secretary that address the need for public guardianship services and related issues.

(e)  The executive director may provide assistance to local governments or entities in pursuing grant opportunities. The executive director shall review and make recommendations in the annual report on the availability and efficacy of seeking Medicaid matching funds. The executive director shall diligently seek ways to use existing programs and services to meet the needs of public wards.

(f)  The executive director, in consultation with the Florida Guardianship Foundation, shall develop a guardianship training program curriculum that may be offered to all guardians whether public or private.

(3)  The executive director may conduct or contract for demonstration projects authorized by the Department of Elderly Affairs, within funds appropriated or through gifts, grants, or contributions for such purposes, to determine the feasibility or desirability of new concepts of organization, administration, financing, or service delivery designed to preserve the civil and constitutional rights of persons of marginal or diminished capacity. Any gifts, grants, or contributions for such purposes shall be deposited in the Department of Elderly Affairs Administrative Trust Fund.

(4)  The Department of Elderly Affairs has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to carry out the provisions of this section.

History.--s. 4, ch. 99-277; s. 14, ch. 2003-57; s. 5, ch. 2003-262.

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