In Summit County, the importance of guardianship cannot be overstated when it comes to ensuring the safety, well-being, and dignity of vulnerable individuals.

Summit County, like many other regions, has witnessed a rise in the number of indigent individuals in recent years. These are community members who lack the financial means and support systems necessary to effectively manage their own affairs. Unfortunately, this vulnerable population often faces significant challenges in accessing essential services, making decisions, and safeguarding their well-being.

In 2021, Adult Guardianship Services of Summit County Inc. confidently emerged to proactively address this pressing need. Now referred to as AGS, the agency has grown into a strong collaboration of community stakeholders, including the Summit County Probate Court, Summit County Public Health, the Department of Job & Family Service, the City of Akron, the County of Summit ADM Board, and the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board. 

Probate Court remains the "Superior Guardian" for nearly 2,500 community members, many of whom are indigent and have no one able to advocate for them in the role of guardian. AGS serves many of these indigent community members by providing trained advocates, educators and surrogate decision makers.

Guardians play a pivotal role in keeping our community safe and healthy. By taking on the responsibilities of a guardian, these dedicated individuals ensure that the basic needs of indigent wards are met, including housing, healthcare, and access to necessary support services. They act as advocates, liaising with service providers, healthcare professionals, and other stakeholders to ensure the rights and dignity of their wards are protected.

As the indigent population continues to grow, the demand for guardianship services in Summit County has reached a critical point. Our dedicated volunteer guardians work tirelessly to fulfill their obligations, but the increasing caseloads place strain on their capacity to serve adequately. It's imperative that AGS addresses this need by recruiting and training additional individuals who are willing to step forward and make a meaningful impact in the lives of those who need it most.

By becoming a guardian, individuals have the opportunity to make a profound difference in the lives of those who cannot advocate for themselves. Let us come together as a community, recognizing the importance of this role and taking action to meet the growing need for guardianship services in Summit County. Together, we can create a safer, healthier, and more compassionate community for all.