Public Accountability Report Public Accountability Report

Guardianship and Advocacy Commission
(Appropriated Spending in Thousands)
  FY 2018 FY 2017
Reporting Programs Expenditures Headcount Expenditures Headcount
Office of State Guardian $ 7,046.3 70.0 $ 7,546.3 77.0
Legal Advocacy Service $ 1,663.7 17.0 $ 1,372.1 15.0
Human Rights Authority $ 1,076.5 11.0 $ 882.0 11.0
Totals $ 9,786.5 98.0 $ 9,800.4 103.0

Totals may not add due to rounding.

Agency Narrative
The Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission safeguards the rights of persons with disabilities by providing public guardianship services, legal representation, and a process to investigate allegations of disability rights violations. The Commission's enabling legislation is the Guardianship and Advocacy Act of 1979 (20 ILCS 3955/1 et seq.). The Commission is governed by 11 Commissioners appointed by the Governor for three-year terms of office. Each Commissioner is chosen to represent particular expertise consistent with the Commission's mission to serve persons with disabilities. The Commission carries out its mandates through the work of three programs: the Human Rights Authority (HRA), which, through regional panels of citizen volunteers, investigates alleged rights violations committed against persons with disabilities by disability service providers; the Legal Advocacy Service (LAS), which provides legal advice and representation to individuals with disabilities; and the Office of State Guardian (OSG), which serves as the court-appointed guardian for adults with disabilities when no one else is available or able to effectively serve as guardian. HRA measures focus on the program's ability to effectively negotiate improved disability right protections when service providers investigated accept and implement recommendations to correct substantiated rights violations. Recommendations focus on systemic changes to a provider's policies, procedures, and/or practices that benefit both current and future service consumers. In fiscal year 2018, 85 percent of recommendations issued were accepted and implemented by disability service providers investigated. Implemented recommendations impacted an estimated 13,654 persons with disabilities at an average rate of $79 per person impacted. LAS program measures demonstrate the program's high volume of service provision at an extremely efficient rate. In fiscal year 2018, 7,830 LAS clients were served at an average rate of $212 per client, and 9,043 cases were handled at a rate of $184 per case. When compared to private sector legal rates, the LAS budget represents 26 percent of private costs for similar legal hours. LAS outcome measures focus on the program's ability to advance mental health case law when cases of sufficient merit reach a higher court; in fiscal year 2018, 75 percent of cases were referred to a higher court. The LAS also assists individuals with mental health advance directives as a means to self-direct future service provision; the LAS assisted with 233 requests for mental health treatment declarations in fiscal year 2018. The OSG served as guardian for 5,725 individuals in fiscal year 2018. Alternative guardianship sources are sought when possible and were found in 33 percent of referrals during fiscal year 2018. When appropriate, the OSG seeks community living arrangements for its wards, with 49 percent residing in community placements in fiscal year 2018. The average OSG caseload remains high at 134 cases per caseworker. During fiscal year 2018, the highest regional caseload was 174 cases . OSG output measures demonstrate the numerous case management and other activities completed on behalf of OSG wards and intake clients at an average rate of $887 per individual served in fiscal year 2018.