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Letter: DHI, courts must look at potential conflicts

To the editor,

In reading the story on the lawsuit involving Developmental Homes, I was struck by one thing that seemed to me to be a complete misunderstanding of a guardianship.

A guardian takes care of a client to make sure that bills are paid, and living conditions and staff adequate to take care of the client's needs. They are an advocate for the client. I was amazed that DHI thought it was appropriate to submit one of their employees as a potential guardian and even more stunned that the court system would bless this.

The current situation puts the employee of the home/guardian at a strange crossroads. Should I advocate for the client to correct less than adequate living conditions or staff problems, or do I side with my employer that the living conditions and staff are fine? Do I advocate, raising potential problems, and maybe get fired, or does DHI and the courts just appoint another less troublesome guardian, who also works for them, thus ensuring that all complaints are taken care of in house and go no further. It is all about appearances after all.

The current system needs to be replaced with only guardians appointed that do not work for DHI or have any business relationships with them. To continue on in this manner will find that the client is getting a less than an impartial guardian/advocate and, after all, the client's needs is why the whole organization was founded

I would hope that DHI, and the courts, take a long hard look at the potential conflicts in situations like these and change some rules.

Mike Flannery

Grand Forks