The VCV Program was created in 1993 in response to legislation requiring statutory Probate Courts to monitor, on an annual basis, the care and condition of persons under guardianship. There are over 1,300 guardianship cases currently pending in Tarrant County Probate Court No.1. While most guardians perform their duties well, some do not, or -- for a variety of reasons -- are no longer capable of providing adequately for their ward. The reports filed by the Volunteer Court Visitors assist the Probate Court in determining whether each pending guardianship case should be continued, modified or terminated.

The Probate Court needs concerned volunteers to serve as Court Visitors and Records Researchers. It will take about a half day per week of your time. As a Volunteer Court Visitor or Records Researcher, your initial training will cover the guardianship process, wards' rights, communication techniques (for wards with communication difficulties), how to conduct an official visit and fill out the Court Visitor Report form, as well as, information on the most common disabilities and pertinent community and social services available to assist guardians and their wards.

As a trained VCV, you will be supervised by the Courts' staff and will receive ongoing support in the form of follow-up training and periodic meetings with the staff and other VCV's. In addition, you will receive the satisfaction of knowing that, through your service to those suffering under mental and physical disabilities, our community has been enriched.

Qualifications for a VCV include good listening skills; patience and tact; friendliness; and an ability to work cooperatively with people from varied cultural and socio-economic backgrounds who may have a range of physical/mental impairments. Further, VCV's must be willing to drive their own insured vehicle (covered parking and mileage reimbursement is available) to private homes, group and personal-care homes, nursing homes and retirement communities in the greater Tarrant County area. An ability to keep information confidential and to remain objective and non-judgmental during the assessment is absolutely essential.

A VCV's duties and responsibilities include orientation and training, prompt filing of reports following visitation and brief one-on-one meetings with a member of the Court's staff to discuss any problems encountered with a guardianship.

For more information, please call 817-884-3810.