POSITION: The Michigan Elder Justice Initiative (MEJI) is seeking a full-time staff person to help implement a Guardianship Diversion Pilot Project in four probate courts across the state (Bay, Genesee, Grand Traverse, and Muskegon counties). The position will be based out of the Lansing office, but the staff person may work remotely as long as they are located in Michigan. Some travel to pilot sites will be required. The position is funded for two years beginning January 1, 2024. Applicants wishing to work part-time (fewer than 30 hours/week) may be considered.
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.
DESCRIPTION OF POSITION: The person hired for this position will work closely with MEJI colleagues to assist court staff, potential petitioners, and individuals at risk of adult guardianship in the four pilot counties to ensure meaningful access to less restrictive alternatives whenever possible. These alternatives include 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.
The staff person, in collaboration with local community service providers, will help assess and meet the needs of the individuals at risk of guardianship. They will identify problems that motivate the pursuit of guardianship and offer the least restrictive, most efficient ways of solving those problems. In addition, this staff person will be part of the Guardianship Diversion project team’s work to create materials and trainings, analyze data, seek out best practices, and engage in other efforts to expand guardianship diversion efforts in other counties. In this exciting project, MEJI is building an innovative new model which has attracted interest inside and outside the state; MEJI hopes this effort will have significant impact beyond the pilot sites.
RESPONSIBILITIES: The Guardianship Diversion Project staff person shall:
- * Conduct meetings with potential guardianship petitioners, individuals at risk of guardianship, and community partners about the supports and services and other alternatives available to older adults and individuals with disabilities.
- * Identify and resolve barriers to accessing, coordinating, and maintaining home and community-based services or obtaining other benefits for vulnerable adults.
- * Support community partners in pilot counties who are serving individuals at risk of guardianship to promote safe and sustainable plans for community living.
- * Collaborate to develop resources and trainings to increase awareness of meaningful alternatives to adult guardianship.
QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must be familiar with guardianships, conservatorships, and other forms of surrogate decision-making, as well as knowledge of social services, mental health, home and community-based services, and public benefits. Applicants must have at least 5 years of professional experience in social services, case management, long-term supports and services, or related fields. A bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) is required. Familiarity with and established connections in aging and/or disability networks in Grand Traverse, Muskegon or Genesee counties preferred.
BENEFITS: This is a full-time, exempt position with an annual salary starting at $53,000 depending on experience; applicants with the required 5 years of relevant experience can expect a salary range starting at $59,965. MAP offers a generous benefits package including life, short- and long-term disability, health, vision, dental and flexible spending accounts. If an 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. Part-time staff are not eligible for benefits and earn pro-rated leave time.
MSAS/MEJI is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
TO APPLY: Please complete this application and submit your resume and cover letter. You can also access the application by copying and pasting the following web address into your browser: https://miadvocacy.bamboohr.com/careers/70. The position is open until filled; applications received by December 6, 2023 will receive priority. If you have questions about the program or the postion, please email MEJI's Diretor and Managing Attorney, Alison Hirschel at email@example.com.
The position is open until filled; applications received by December 6, 2023 will receive priority.