The Volunteer Visitor Program
The Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission
160 North La Salle Street S-500
Chicago, Illinois 60640 (312) 793-5900
Our mission is to improve the quality of life for wards of the Office of State Guardian by empowering volunteers to provide companionship and to advocate for person-centered individualized services. The Volunteer Visitor program is new initiative of the Office of State Guardian (OSG), which provides companionship and advocacy to clients with disabilities. Wards of the state are unable to make or communicate informed or responsible decisions due to mental illness or an intellectual or physical disability. OSG assumes guardianship when no family or friend is available or appropriate to take responsibility. Many wards have become alienated from family members over time or simply have no family or friends who take an active role in their life. Most of the wards live in settings such as nursing facilities, group homes, and substitute care homes. The need for volunteers arose from the large number of clients with disabilities in the State of Illinois. Currently the State Guardian has 5400 wards for which they provide supervision. Guardianship Representatives are currently able to visit each ward four times a year and during emergencies. With a volunteer force, wards will have frequent contact with an advocate and friend. A volunteer will be able to build a relationship with the ward, provide accurate information about the ward's desires and needs and advocate for individualized services.
Volunteers will commit to visit wards at least once a month for a minimum of one year and communicate with the State Guardian about their health, progress, and service needs. OSG will provide direction, training and resources to assist volunteers. A representative from OSG is available to support a volunteer with any questions or concerns, and will give volunteers the tools they need to be a strong advocate. The experience has enormous benefits for everyone involved. VGAP is looking for volunteers to provide stable companionship and specialized attention to people with disabilities within your community.
Please call for more information. 312 793-5900
Click here to fill out an online volunteer form for more information
****** Click here for the New Online Ward Visit Form ******
Training Module 1
Training Module 2
Photos of Volunteers and Wards