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New videos explain the basics of conservatorships

New videos explain the basics of conservatorships

NCSC has just released a new set of resources to help courts monitor conservatorship cases. A three-part video series for court staff is now available online and provides guidance on case management, detecting red flags and ways to respond to suspected fraud or abuse.

“So often, much more rigorous monitoring is needed in ongoing conservatorships and courts are frequently not set up to do this effectively,” said Miriam Hamilton, the NCSC research analyst leading the video project. “We hope the general tips and best practices in these videos will help and that courts across the country will be able to use them as a training resource for their own judges and staff. They will also help the public understand better what conservators do and how courts monitor and take responsibility to keep people under conservatorship protected.”

The videos - Monitoring Conservatorship and Guardianship Cases, Red Flags in Financial Reports and Responses to Potential Fraud or Abuse – provide specific instruction on how court staff can ensure a conservator or guardian appropriately fulfills their duties through communication and effective case management. Court staff can also learn how to identify and report suspected fraud.

To ensure conservatorship cases are effectively managed, NCSC recommends that courts:

  • Make expectations clear by providing instructions and communicating deadlines to conservators.
  • Adopt case management practices that can easily track pending and closed cases, along with important deadlines and missing reports.
  • Proactively develop an action plan to address issues.

NCSC also released a series of videos for conservators and prospective conservators that defines the role and responsibilities of a conservator. The videos outline specific questions a conservator should ask the court when appointed and provide guidance on what to consider when making decisions on behalf of another person and the information needed to successfully complete reports.

These informational videos are part of a multi-year grant from the Office for Victims of Crime to improve monitoring of conservatorship cases to prevent elder abuse and exploitation. Visit the Center for Elders and the Courts to learn more about NCSC’s conservatorship and guardianship training tools.

Pretrial release information needed for pandemic insights

NCSC is surveying state courts to learn about pretrial policy changes since the COVID-19 pandemic. Supported by the State Justice Institute, this survey is primarily intended for judges and court leadership who can answer questions about state or local pretrial supervision options, policies and practices and data collection. The survey includes 23 questions, with an estimated completion time of about 10 to 15 minutes. Responses are requested by August 1. Findings from the survey will be used to provide insights for the Pretrial Justice Center for Courts at NCSC as we seek to develop tools to support effective pretrial practices and overcome recent challenges.