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Washington County Board of Community Guardians: A Lesser-Known Assistance Program for Vulnerable Adults

The Board of Community Guardians of Washington County, Idaho is an organization that aids adult citizens who can no longer care for themselves.  Steve Penner, Lead Pastor of the Weiser Community Church, is a board member of the group and he spoke with us about how the program works.

The Board of Community Guardians typically would consist of 7 to 11 volunteer members who set guidelines and review referrals for accepting new wards.  Wards placed under guardianship are not able to make responsible decisions, communicate effectively, are incapacitated, and have no friends or family willing or able to serve as their guardian.  Under Idaho Code, an incapacitated person is any person who is impaired…to the extent that he (or she) lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning his or her person, excluding developmentally disabled persons.  This includes people who are unable to perform normal tasks of daily living and require help (adacounty.id.gov).  Oftentimes, placing someone under county guardianship will protect them from potential abuse, exploitation, and neglect.  The Board of Community Guardians can help find housing, arrange health care, manage finances, and provide social support.

Referring an adult who might be a candidate for county guardianship can be done by submitting an application for review.  If anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer board member, they are in need of more members.  Penner shared that it has been difficult to acquire members because few people know about the board.  To learn more about becoming a board member, contact Steve Penner at Weiser Community Church.

More information on the program can be found at www.co.washington.id.us

Pictured above:  Steve Penner, Kem Haines, Rejeana Goolsby, Mark Pacini

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