Ethical, Legal, and Cultural Factors in Considering Guardianship

Thursday, June 13, 2024 from 9:00 – 11:30 am CST


  • Participants will increase their understanding of guardianship and what guardianship means for an individual and family member(s).
  • Participants will increase their understanding of alternatives to guardianship.
  • Participants will increase their understanding of legal processes of guardianship in Wisconsin.
  • Participants will explore ethical dilemmas that occur between protecting an older adult from harm and respecting individual freedoms.
  • Participants will explore how to maintain professional competence when faced with an ethical dilemma. Ethical decision making tools and codes of conduct will be examined.
  • Participants will explore cultural considerations and guardianship.
  • Participants will increase their understanding of Adult Protective Services and their role in guardianship.
  • Participants will explore how to apply concepts introduced in this workshop to a case situation.

2.5 Ethics Continuing Education Hours available for participants who attend the whole program and request a CEH certificate. The CEH’s are free and fulfill the requirements for social work Ethics CEH’s in Wisconsin.


Dr. Colleen Galambos, PhD, LCSW, LCSW-C, ACSW, FGSA, FAASWSW
Helen Bader Endowed Chair in Applied Gerontology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Colleen Galambos is a professor and the Helen Bader Endowed Chair in Applied Gerontology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is an adjunct professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Galambos is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

Her practice experience includes clinical, administrative, policy, and research positions in a variety of health and long-term care organizations. She currently serves on the Governing Board for the Aging and Disabilities Resource Center of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. She served on the State of Missouri Board of Nursing Home Administrators from 2004 – 2011 and was Vice President of the Board from 2010 – 2011. She is a past member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Social Workers. She is currently a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Health Care Services. She was a member of two Consensus Study Committees with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Dinah LaCaze, MBA, APSW
APS Prevention Program Coordinator, Milwaukee County Aging and Disabilities Services

Dinah is the APS Prevention Program Coordinator Chapter 55 for Milwaukee County Aging and Disabilities, where she works in the Adult Protective Services Unit. She Coordinates Emergency Protective Placements for adults at risk/older adults and provides education and training on various topics including dementia. Dinah Graduated from UW Milwaukee with her degree in Social Work, has her APSW, and a certificate in trauma counseling.

Rujeko Machinga, MSc, MSSW, MSCFT, CSW
PhD Student, College of Social Work, University of Kentucky

A Zimbabwean native, Rujeko “Rue” Machinga-Asaolu is a certified social worker in Kentucky. She has a Master of Science in Community Health Education, a Master of Science in Social Work, and a Master in Couple and Family Therapy. Rujeko has practice experience in community-based and school-link mental health, individual, couple, and family therapy, FlourishCare navigating, and behavioral health case management. Rujeko is a Ph.D. student in Social Work at the University of Kentucky (UKY). Her primary scholarly research explores post-traumatic growth among intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors. Her research interests also include exploring IPV among late-life older adults and immigrants. Rujeko was a predissertation fellow with the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW), and is currently a predoctoral fellow with the United in True Racial Equity and a recipient of the Lyman T. Johnson Fellowship at the UKY. She has multiple leadership roles including but not limited to being an elected Board Member for AGESW and being appointed by the Mayor of the City of Lexington to serve on the Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition. In these roles, Rujeko actively advocates for late-life older adults to not be overshadowed and to be treated equitably.

Polly Shoemaker
WI Guardianship Support Center Attorney, Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources

Attorney Polly Shoemaker is the Managing Attorney of the Guardianship Support Center with the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR). Polly received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where an internship with the Dane County Corporation Counsel’s office led to an interest in guardianship and disability advocacy. Prior to joining the GSC, Polly was a staff attorney for ABC for Health, where she worked with families of children with special health care needs and adults of all ages to address insurance and public benefit concerns, long-term care options, and transition planning.

Kelsey Leopold
Elder Rights Project Staff Attorney, Legal Action of Wisconsin

Attorney Kelsey Leopold is a staff attorney with Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Elder Rights Project. She is a 2018 graduate of The University of Iowa College of Law. Kelsey has been with Legal Action for six years. In her role as a staff attorney on the Elder Rights Project she assists individuals 60+ who are victims of crime with their civil legal needs. Her area of practice within the civil realm ranges widely and includes the following: consumer issues such as debt defense, eviction defense, family law including divorces and assisting individuals seeking civil restraining orders, both small and large claims civil matters including seeking money judgements for victims of financial exploitation, and the list goes on.

This is a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day event.