Welcome to the Waikato Welfare Guardianship Trust
Everybody needs somebody, some people have nobody
The information on this page will be useful to anyone in the Waikato who is:
- Considering applying to be a volunteer Welfare Guardian
- People and organisations wishing to request a volunteer Welfare Guardian
Please note that Court appointed Welfare Guardians will have NO authority to make decisions about property and asset management of any subject person they represent. There is a separate application for Property Management. Our volunteer Welfare Guardians will not be appointed Property Managers and referring sources need to consider alternative professional business organisations like The Public Trust or Perpetual Guardians if this role is also needed. Our successfully appointed Welfare Guardians will of course liaise as needed
Who are we?
Our Waikato Welfare Guardianship Trust follow in the footsteps of Otago and Wellington and exist as charitable trust to provide, recruit and approve, and train suitable volunteers to be Court-appointed Welfare Guardians for people who are unable to make, or communicate, decisions for themselves. Once appointed the Trust will provide on-going support for the volunteers.
Our Trust Board is made up of 2 lawyers a social worker and an aged care advocate working for Age Concern, and our committee has further representation with people with expertise in Acquired Brain Injury, Elder Abuse and Mental Health matters.
Our volunteers have kindly offered to become Court Appointed Welfare Guardians to assist with decisions on all health and welfare matters for people with no family or suitable relatives/friends willing to make an application on their behalf, and who need this assistance of ongoing personal advocacy.
Losing capacity to make your own decisions needs a medical certificate. The Court will need to know why it is desirable that a Welfare Guardian needs to be appointed.
All referrals will need substantial information, where possible, to support any application.
We will accept referrals from a range of people including lawyers, rest-home managers, DHB social workers, Family Court and disability providers.
Once appointed by the Family Court the Welfare Guardian is the only person legally able to make decisions about the day-to-day care and welfare of their Subject Person. These may include decisions about non-urgent medical treatments, accommodation and any day-to-day matters that the person would normally make for themselves but, who the Court have ruled, lack the capacity to do so
What does the Trust do?
- The Trust recruits, approves, trains and supports suitable volunteer Welfare Guardians.
- The Trust Co-ordinator receives request for volunteers Welfare Guardians. Please note not all requests will be suitable to be accepted. We will screen to ensure that the role is suitable for a voluntary match. Sadly we have no resources to have complicated legal hearings.
- The Coordination team will match the needs of the subject person to a suitable volunteer.
- Our Trustees also support the volunteer to apply to the Court for an Order appointing them to become Welfare Guardian.
How do I apply to become a volunteer Welfare Guardian?
- Read the information in The Role of a Welfare Guardian
- Complete an Application Form
- Return the application form to: Waikato Welfare Guardianship Trust , 23 A Thames St Hamilton or email the Application to email@example.com
- You will be required to consent to a police check, and to sign a Confidentiality Agreement.
- You will be required to attend training and an interview and undergo referee checks.
- We will then advise you when you have been approved.
What happens next?
All approved volunteers will have their name added to the Trust list of available volunteer Welfare Guardians.
We will contact you when an appropriate request has been made to the Trust and we believe you will be a good match together.
How do I request a volunteer Welfare Guardian?
- Complete the Waikato WGT Guardianship Referral form.
- A Registered Medical Practitioners report should accompany this request.
- Return both to Waikato Welfare Guardianship Trust by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to 23A Thames St Hamilton 3214
What if I have further questions?
Email email@example.com with your question and contact details, and one of our Trustees will speak with you.
Newsletter and Publications
Committee Members at Welfare Guardian Trust Waikato launch 15 November 2019 held at Hamilton Innovation Park.
From Left: Cate Anderson (Chairperson), Dee Holmes (rear Trust lawyer), Rosie Paltridge, Sue Simister, (rear) Jane Walker (Trustee), Robyn Wilson (rear), Jeni Hawker (Trustee), Richard Jerram (rear – Trustee), Marion Baird and Rhian Geenty (rear) (not shown is Anne our administration support from Age Concern).
Key note speaker at our launch was Waikato Family Court Judge, His Honour Garry Collin, who spoke with humour and eloquence, highlighting the complex variety of human stories needing our collaborative support.
We wish also to acknowledge the following organisations for their sponsorship of our initial establishment and launch event:- Age concern Hamilton, Grayson Clements, and Jane Walker (Legal firms) and Kintala Lodge Resthome, Hilda Ross Retirement Village (Ryman Health) Tamahere Eventide Trust, Rossendale Care Home (Bupa and Kingswood Resthomes).
At the launch we highlighted that our aim is not just to provide one case a Welfare Guardianship service for people with no-one, but we also exist to promote the need for better publicly provided advocacy for this very vulnerable group of people.
Our core business is to support Welfare Guardianship provision and if you want to volunteer to be a Welfare Guardian, our committee guarantees becoming a volunteer Welfare Guardian will enrich both of your lives.