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National Guardianship Network Releases Guide for Replicating WINGS

The recently released report, WINGS Tips: State Replication Guide for Working Interdisciplinary Networks of Guardianship Stakeholders is now available. Produced by the American Bar Association/Commission on Law and Aging for the National Guardianship Network, this publication provides a “How-To” guide that details initiating, developing, and sustaining successful stakeholder networks, comprised of probate judges, attorneys and counselors, disability rights coalitions, advocacy groups for the aging, and other key stakeholders in elder law cases (SJI-12-N-157).

The report is an answer to the inquiries from many constituents present at the 2011 Third National Guardianship Summit, and addresses the recommendation that coordinated state-court community partnerships be established and implemented. WINGS, currently active in seven states (IN, MO, NY, OH, OR, TX, and UT) work collaboratively to achieve their goals, and include the following characteristics:

  • are ongoing and sustainable;
  • are broad-based and interdisciplinary, including non-professionals;
  • are problem solving in nature;
  • look primarily to changes in practice, and extend beyond legislative changes;
  • start with solutions that are short-term to generate momentum;
  • depend on “mutually reinforcing activities” of stakeholders, and foster trust and communication;
  • include a focus on rights and person-centered planning;
  • welcome public input, and are transparent to the public;
  • make continuous adaptations;
  • see themselves as part of a national network.

The report goes on to describe ten steps to launch and maintain a WINGS group, and online resources from existing statewide WINGS.