Each ward, for whom a guardian has been appointed pursuant to Chapter 744, Florida Statutes, is entitled to a guardian competent to perform the duties of a guardian necessary to protect the interest of the ward; and

Sections 744.1085 and 744.3145, Florida Statutes, require that guardians complete certain education requirements; and

The court is aware of the need to provide guardians who are family members of the ward with an education course specific to their needs; and

The chief judge is required to approve and certify courses for guardian education which meet the requirements of said statute and local rules; and

In order to comply with recent statutory changes, it is


A. Family Member Guardian Education Requirements

1. A family member appointed as guardian who is required to comply with the education requirement of Sections 744.1085 and 744.3145, Florida Statutes, shall be considered to have satisfied the education requirements by completing a minimum of 8 hours of instruction and training in an approved family member guardian education course.

2. For purposes of this order, a family member is a person who is:

a. related by lineal consanguinity to the ward;

b. a legally adopted child or adoptive parent of an adult ward;

c. a spouse, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew of the ward; or

d. the spouse of any of the above persons.

3. A family member guardian education course shall include topics required in Section 744.3145(2), Florida Statutes. Any person or organization seeking court approval to act as a provider of a family member guardian education course may submit the curriculum to the Administrative Office of the Courts, Probate Division (Program).

4. A family member guardian education course shall satisfy the guardian education requirement when the guardian’s only ward is a family member.

5. Upon completion of a family member guardian education course, the guardian shall file a certificate of completion from the course instructor in the guardianship court file.

B. Non Family Member Guardian Education

1. Each professional guardian shall complete training in accordance with Section

744.1085(3), Florida Statutes.

2. Procedures for Receipt of Credit

a. An offering may be approved for credit by the court upon application. The request for approval must be in writing to the Deputy Courts Administrator, Probate Division, Administrative Office of the Courts and meet the following criteria:

i. The content of the offering must be relevant to and be within the definition of appropriate continuing education.

ii. The offering must be presented by a live faculty and such presenter(s) or instructor(s) must possess appropriate credentials relevant to the subject matter provided by the offering.

iii. The offering’s educational goals, objectives and teaching materials must be adequately identified in promotional materials.

iv. The offering must be presented in a time block of at least one contact hour. One contact hour equals a minimum of fifty (50) minutes of instruction.

3. Guardian’s Reporting Requirement - The guardian shall file with the annual report a

sworn affidavit attesting that the 40 hours of training and the continuing education required by statute has been completed. The guardian must retain (but is not required to file) such receipts, vouchers, certificates, or other paper as may be necessary to document completion of the continuing education requirement for a period of not less than four (4) years from the date the offering was taken.

4. This section shall not apply to family members serving as guardians.

C. Guardian Education Course Approval

1. The following courses are approved for basic guardian education:

a. St. Petersburg Junior College, credit course entitled "Legal Guardian Training ".

b. Guardianship Training - a 40-hour noncredit course offered by Irene Rausch to be conducted at varying locations and times throughout Pinellas County.

c. Guardianship Training Course - a 40-hour course offered by Cliff Wing to be conducted at Pasco/Hernando Community College.

d. Training for Professional Guardians - a 40-hour noncredit course offered by the Pasco Hernando Community College at both the New Port Richey and Dade City campuses.

e. Family Guardianship Course - an eight (8) hour course offered by Cliff Wing.

2. Additional guardianship courses may be approved from time to time. Information on additionally approved programs may be received from the Program.

Administrative order PA/PI-CIR-96-60 is hereby rescinded.

DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida this 12 th day of November, 1997.


Susan F. Schaeffer, Chief Judge