JULY/AUG 2021 BAR BULLETIN July | August 2021 - Page 28

PRESORT STD US POSTAGE PAID WEST PALM BEACH FL PERMIT NO . 66

PALM BEACH COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION BULLETIN PO BOX 17726 WEST PALM BEACH , FL 33416 WWW . PALMBEACHBAR . ORG

Volunteer Guardian Advocates Needed !

The Fifteenth Circuit Needs Volunteer Guardian Advocates for Baker Act cases
Do you want to help give back to your community and support the health of some of the most vulnerable citizens in Palm Beach County ? Individuals who do not have family or friends to be their advocate ? Then we need you as a Guardian Advocate !
What does a Guardian Advocate do in Baker Act cases ?
A guardian advocate is a person appointed by the Court to make decisions regarding the mental health treatment of an individual who has been found to be incompetent to consent to treatment under the Baker Act . The decisions have to be informed and in the best interest of the patient . The Guardian Advocate may be granted specific additional powers by written order of the court . See Section 394.4598 , F . S .
Do I have to go to the hospital to serve as a Guardian Advocate ?
No , you do not physically have to go to the hospital to serve as a Guardian Advocate . You are able to speak to the treatment providers over the telephone .
How much time does it take ?
Very little time ….. only 30 minutes to an hour of your time !
How to Become a Guardian Advocate for Baker Act Cases
If you are interested in volunteering as a Guardian Advocate you will need to complete a volunteer application , a 4-hour free training and a criminal background check .
You can access the training on the Florida Certification Board website at : https :// fcbonline . remotelearner . net /
Pro bono credit hours for lawyers with the Florida Bar and Legal Aid !
For more information or any questions about the process please contact Mary Quinlan at mquinlan @ pbcgov . org or 561-355- 1925 .
What is a Baker Act Proceeding ?
Florida ’ s Baker Act law is a means of providing individuals with emergency services and temporary detention for up to 72 hours for mental health examination and treatment , either on a voluntary or involuntary basis pursuant to Florida Statute Chapter 394 .