About Florida’s WINGS Collaborative Group
In May 2017, the Office of State Courts Administrator, under the direction of the Florida Supreme Court, received a grant from the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging and the National Center for State Courts to establish a Florida WINGS – Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders. The WINGS concept involves the creation of a wide-reaching court-community partnership designed to improve practices in adult guardianship and to provide less restrictive decision-making options. This concept was first proposed at the Third National Guardianship Summit in 2011. Florida joins over 20 other states that have created a WINGS.
In order to establish this type of a partnership in Florida, then Chief Justice Jorge Labarga created a steering committee to guide the effort as well as a stakeholders group to ensure a broad-based, diverse membership. The chief invited the secretary or executive director of the following agencies to appoint members to the steering committee: the Department of Elder Affairs, the Department of Children and Families (Office of Adult Protective Services), the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, and Disability Rights Florida. He also appointed a guardian to the steering committee.
Stakeholders were identified by seven different state agencies, 18 organizations or associations, and two universities. Six judges, one case manager, one magistrate, and one court monitor representing various judicial circuits were identified. A clerk and a clerk’s staff member were chosen to represent the Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers, and a state attorney and a public defender were also selected to serve as stakeholders. Five self-advocates were also named. The Office of the State Courts Administrator staffs Florida WINGS.