Historical Overview of Protective Services
In 1972, Protective Services for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) became mandated by state law (O.R.C. 5123.55-59). From 1972 - 1978, protective services were provided by an office within the division of developmental disabilities (DD). For individuals residing in state institutions without family members to serve as their guardian, superintendents of institutions served as guardian of the person. In 1976, the decision by the state of Ohio was made to contact protective service based on passage of S.B. 336. Thus in 1977, Guardianship Services, Ltd. was created to provide services for individuals with DD who were in the state's institutions (now called developmental centers). This decision and creation of the agency were based on the national J.C.A.H. standards for delivery of protective services. According to this standard, superintendents were no longer allowed to serve as guardians.
In 1978, the state of Ohio decided to contract for community protective services. Sentinel Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Inc. was created to provide protective services for individuals with DD in the community.
When Guardian Services, Ltd. and Sentinel Services, Inc. consolidated, in June, 1983, Advocacy & Protective Services, Inc. (APSI) was created. Services provided included serving as guardian of the person, trustee and protector.
In 1989, the guardianship reform law (Substitute S.B. 46) passed which increased the number of options available to the individuals APSI serves. In addition to providing full guardianships, trusteeships and protectorships, APSI began providing the following services: conservatorship, interim, limited and emergency guardianship.
APSI presently serves over 4,660 people. For the majority of individuals, APSI serves as the guardian of the person. For these individuals, APSI is appointed by the probate court to provide substitute decision making by taking the persons preferences and best interests into account. As guardian, APSI tries to access needed medical, residential, vocational and other services while working to prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation of those who are unable to protect their own interests.
For some individuals, APSI provides money management services, through a trusteeship. These services are an intervention tool which assists in supporting, maintaining and stabilizing the individual in the community by provision of money management assistance. The majority of the individuals served receive SSI or SSDI benefits. When appropriate and possible, APSI encourages other agencies and individuals to serve as payee. For those individuals with no one else who can appropriately safeguard their funds, APSI serves as legal trustee.
APSI's philosophy is to provide protective services in the least restrictive manner. In all aspects of protective services, this means adapting APSI's services to meet individual needs.
Responding to individual needs may mean visiting a person in the hospital, at home, or where they work, advocating for the value of a person's life with a physician, or a hospital. APSI works with the individual and their team to ensure services and supports are person centered. APSI services are geared to promote growth and encourage maximum self-reliance on the part of the individuals who we serve.
Training and technical assistance on guardianship has also been incorporated into APSI's ongoing service delivery with sessions held throughout Ohio. APSI representatives provide training and technical assistance to families and others on the role of a guardian.