The IGA was established in 1998, to provide for the exchange of ideas, education, and communication between groups and individuals interested in providing or furthering adult guardianship services or alternative protective services to those in need of such services in Illinois.

To promote a positive image of guardianship as a profession, and to encourage the development of the highest standards for guardians and guardianship providers.

To advocate for appropriate services for persons with developmental disabilities or mental illness, persons who are elderly and have age-related disabilities, and others who may be at risk and require adult guardianship services.

To promote public policies and encourage the promulgation of legislation and administrative rules that advance the highest standards of guardianship, advocacy services for persons with disabilities, and research for guardianship and related services.

To provide training and support to guardians, including but not limited to training programs that are approved by the National Guardianship Association.

To support public and private guardianship programs that are compatible with the ideals of the association, promote family participation in adult guardianship and adult guardianship programs, and provide assistance to the court systems responsible for the administration of guardianship in Illinois.

To enter into affiliations with other associations, including the National Guardianship Association, for the purpose of better achieving mutually agreed upon goals and purposes.



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The mission of the Illinois Guardianship Association is to promote the highest quality of ethical guardianship services through education, networking, and advocacy.

Examples of what we do:

  • Advocate that guardianship should only be used as a last resort, and that less restrictive alternatives should be used whenever possible.

  • Advocates for appropriate services for persons with intellectual disabilities, mental illness, and persons who are elderly and have age-related disabilities.

  • Provides affordable education and training with topics of immediate concern to providers and families through speakers, round table discussions, and networking opportunities.

  • Provides support and increased family participation for those family members acting as guardians.

  • Upholds the Standards of Practice and Model Code of Ethics of the National Guardianship Association.

  • Promotes public policies and legislation that advances the highest standards of guardianship practice.

  • Provides continuing education to maintain certification as a National Certified Guardian.



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The IGA has been in operation since 1998. Our members are composed of state, public, professional, and family guardians. In the early 1990s, the nation turned to meeting the abuses of guardianship by developing standards of guardianship practice which led to a certification requirement for state and public guardians. At the same time, there was a strong recommendation for professional and fiduciary guardians to do the same. There is no requirement for certification for family guardians.

However, the IGA recognizes the need for family and other non-certified guardians to follow the Standards of Practice and Ethics which the National Guardianship Association (NGA) adopted in 2001. Those standards can be found on our Important Links page.

We have included in the website a Guardian Manual which was developed for family guardians but is very useful for any guardian. Since the courts in Illinois do not have a requirement for any training to become a guardian, the manual is offered as a guide. The inclusion of documents and forms for filing reports to the court is available as well as the ability to download certain sections and the entire manual if desired.

We encourage questions and comments. Please go to the Contact Us page or fill out the form below to submit your comment or question.

You can download a copy of the Illinois Guardianship Association By-Laws here:

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Master Guardian Emeritus,
National Guardianship Association. Retired Regional Administrator of Metro East Office of State Guardian


Teresa Parks

Deputy Director of Programs, Human Rights Authority Director, IGAC,
and private guardian


Erin K. Nowlan

Disability Rights Manager,
Human Rights Authority,
Peoria Regional Office


Ruth E. Robinson, JD.

Private practice attorney with
Smith Amundsen LLC.


Sharon Rudy, JD.

Private Attorney and Nationally Certified Guardian. Served as Public Guardian and Administrator for Boone and Winnebago Counties.


John Brown

Public Guardian
for Champaign County


Amy Kessler, JD.

Cook County Public Guardian Attorney. Litigation experience representing neglected children in the child welfare system. Legislative advocate working
on issues related to guardianship and people with disabilities.


J. Amber Drew, JD.

Private Practice. Estates, Trusts, and Guardianship practice. 
Former member of NAELA.


Dan Deneen

Former Public Guardian of Mclean and Logan counties


Colleen Wengler, JD

Private Attorney and Public Guardian of
Will County, Illinois.


Rhonda Benner, NCG

Guardianship Representative

Office of State Guardian

board member email link