POSITION: The Michigan Elder Justice Initiative (MEJI) is seeking a full-time project coordinator to plan a Guardianship Diversion Project in one or more probate courts across the state. The position will be based out of the Lansing office but the staff person may work remotely. Travel to various probate courts across the state may be required. The position is funded for one year but additional funding may become available.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM: MEJI advocates for and represents low-income older adults and people with disabilities on issues related to healthcare, benefits, long term care, elder abuse, and individual rights. MEJI has long sought to limit the appointment of guardians when less restrictive alternatives are available and to improve the state guardianship system. MEJI houses the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, the MI Health Link and MI Choice, Community Transition Services and PACE Ombudsman Programs, and it engages in litigation and systemic advocacy efforts on behalf of vulnerable adults. MEJI is part of Michigan Statewide Advocacy Services (MSAS), a non-profit law firm providing free legal services to low-income individuals and older adults through several statewide programs. MSAS is administered by the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP), which provides access to the justice system for those who need it the most through civil legal aid offices and statewide advocacy programs. MAP’s mission is to advance the safety, independence, and economic stability of those most affected by poverty, racism, and other structurally oppressive systems by increasing access to justice and working for systemic solutions. Visit miadvocacy.org for more information.
The person hired for this position will develop guardianship diversion pilot projects that help individuals who are the subject of guardianship petitions utilize other less restrictive alternatives including powers of attorney, advance directives, representative payee arrangements, supported decision-making, social services, medical and mental health services, public benefits or other strategies. The goal of the project is to ensure guardianships are only used when necessary and appropriate.
RESPONSIBILITIES: The Guardianship Diversion Project Coordinator shall:
- Conduct research about best practices and models for guardianship diversion in Michigan and across the country
- Identify, become familiar with, and disseminate research and legal scholarship related to guardianship diversion
- Coordinate meetings of the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Task Force Guardianship Diversion Subcommittee
- Identify probate courts that are willing to become guardianship diversion pilot sites
- Identify, collect, and analyze data regarding the guardianship system
- Draft plans for guardianship diversion pilot project(s) that incorporate best practices, utilize local resources, and meet the needs and goals of local probate courts.
- Produce grant reports and support efforts to obtain ongoing grant funding
QUALIFICATIONS: Successful applicants will possess strong research and writing skills and excellent organizational skills. Familiarity with guardianships, conservatorships, and other forms of surrogate decision-making and knowledge of social services, mental health, home and community-based services, and public benefits strongly preferred. Candidates with a law degree or legal experience, or degrees in social services or related fields will be considered favorably.
BENEFITS: This is a full-time, exempt position with salary starting at $60,000 depending on experience. MAP offers a generous benefits package including life, short- and long-term disability, health, vision, dental and flexible spending accounts. If applicant does not require health benefits, they have the option to take a $1,500 payout in addition to the base salary. MAP also has a generous leave policy beginning with 3 weeks paid vacation and 13 paid holidays, as well as an annual 2% contribution and 2% match to retirement plan subject to board approval for eligible staff. MAP is a qualifying employer for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
MSAS/MEJI is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
TO APPLY: Please email your resume with a cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, “Guardianship Diversion Project Coordinator.” Please indicate whether you are applying to any other positions with LSSCM, MAP, or MEJI. If you have questions about the program or the position, please email MEJI’s Director and Managing Attorney, Alison Hirschel at email@example.com.
The position is open until filled; applications received by December 15, 2022 will receive priority.