New funding to allow Barry to serve 200 indigent adults in Broward County
Sep 23, 2008
Sept. 17, 2008
Contact: Julianna M. Klose
New funding to allow Barry University to serve 200 poor and vulnerable adults in Broward County
Broward County’s Office of the Public Guardian is only in the state to be operated by a School of Social Work
Miami Shores, Fla. – Thanks to a substantial award allocation from the Foundation for Indigent Guardianship, Inc. (FIG), Barry University’s Office of the Public Guardian in Broward County will now have the additional resources to fund an additional staff member, enabling them to serve 40 additional indigent and vulnerable adults in Broward County in 2008 and 2009.
The grant, for $132,421, will also allow the program to allocate additional funding for their clients’ emergency and life threatening needs that are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid such as dental emergencies or one-time medication costs.
“This is a true example of how Barry’s reach into the community provides such a unique service among the Public Guardianship program, the Broward County Courthouse and Barry University,” said Dr. Phyllis Scott, associate dean and professor, School of Social Work.
Guardianship is the court process designed to protect and exercise the legal rights of individuals who lack the capacity to make their own decisions. The Office of the Public Guardian in Broward County is the only in the state, and possibly the nation, to be run by a School of Social Work at a university – Barry University. Office staff members are appointed as legal guardians designees to more than 160 individuals who lack the means or ability to care for themselves, and do not have family members or friends to make decisions for them.
There is a particular need for such a service in Florida - and Broward County - where many come to retire. To combat this need, the office currently employs six full-time master’s level staff members and two student interns – also from Barry’s School of Social Work. The new funding will allow them to add another position, also master’s level, and thus 40 serve additional clients.
The check was formally presented by FIG president and CEO, Ronald Morgan at an event held Friday, Sept. 5 at Barry University.
“Those individuals who have seen the least representation in the state of Florida are the same people being helped today thanks to those who stand up for them and bring them into the light,” Morgan said.
Barry President Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD accepted the check at the event, which was also attended by faculty and administrators from the university’s School of Social Work and staff from the Office of the Public Guardian in Broward County. In appreciation for their support of the program, 17th Judicial Circuit Judge Mel Grossman and attorney Maxine Long of Shutts & Bowen, were presented with an award by School of Social Work Dean Debra McPhee and the program’s executive director, Eloisa Rosés Ramos.
“We are happy to be partners with Barry University in fulfilling the need those in our community have and protecting those less fortunate members of society,” said Judge, Mel Grossman. “No entity can do that alone.”
McPhee stressed the importance of the award distributed through FIG, to help fund the partnership.
“We couldn’t survive without everyone’s collaboration to make the pieces fit together.”
The Foundation for Indigent Guardianship (FIG) is a charitable organization, designated by Florida Statute to provide direct support to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs Statewide Public Guardianship Office. The organization’s sole mission is to provide the vital funding for the state’s licensed public guardians, appointed by Florida courts, to represent, care for and protect these most vulnerable members of society.
For more information, please contact executive director Eloisa Rosés Ramos at (954) 831-6550.