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Corporate Guardianship: Application Process

This page describes the paperwork needed to become a corporate guardianship business. You must complete the paperwork in Sections I and II before completing the paperwork in Section III.

Section I: Department of Financial Institutions Form DFI-102 (Articles of Incorporation - Nonstock Corporation)

The Wisconsin Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) Corporate Guardianship program requires a copy of the submitted DFI-102 form when processing a corporate guardianship application. The name of a corporate guardianship business must end with the abbreviation "Inc." (refer to Article 1 of DFI-102 instructions). DQA returns application materials if applying corporations don't have "Inc." at the end of names.

The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) allows applicants to choose between completing form DFI-102 online or form DFI-102 as a fillable PDF document (PDF). It also offers form instructions (PDF).

Section II: Caregiver background checks

The Caregiver Law, under Wis. Stat. § 50.065, requires two types of caregiver background checks:

  • Those done by employers for their employees and contractors [see chapters 1 and 2 of the Wisconsin Caregiver Program Manual (PDF)].
  • Those done by DQA for license holders/legal representatives and non-client residents of DQA-regulated entities.

Visit Caregiver Background Checks for details and required forms.

See Corporate Guardianship Background Check Process, P-01926 (PDF) for more information about the required criminal background check. It also explains the process for corporate guardianship agencies and employees.

Section III: Corporate Guardianship program Status Application

Completing the Corporate Guardianship Status Application, F-60820 (Word) is the last step in the application process.

The guidance below can help you understand the type of information to include in your grievance procedure and business plan.

Grievance policy

Wisconsin Admin. Code § DHS 85.05(2) requires that an application for corporate guardian include a copy of the applicant's written grievance procedure for use by wards and interested parties. The intent of this procedure is to support each client's right to voice grievances. It also aims to assure that after receiving a complaint/grievance, the corporate guardianship agency:

  • Actively seeks a resolution.
  • Keeps the client informed of its progress toward resolution.

Wisconsin Admin. Code § DHS 85.13(1)(h) requires that a ward or interested party be able to file a grievance without retaliation. The corporate guardianship agency shall have policies and procedures in place to provide that no retaliation will be threatened or imposed against any client who files a grievance. This also applies to any person, including an employee of the agency, who helps a client file a grievance.

The grievance policy should include, at a minimum:

  • Information on how to file a grievance: A process for informing the ward and other interested parties of the agency's grievance procedure verbally and in writing.
  • Timely intake of grievances: A process for timely intake of both emergency and non-emergency grievances.
  • Template for written grievances: A template that the ward/interested party can use to submit a written or formal grievance.
  • Investigation procedure: The procedure that the agency will use to review and investigate grievances. This may include a process:
    • To resolve grievances informally if possible.
    • For the ward/interested party to submit a formal grievance if the informal resolution is not acceptable.
    • For internal review of the grievance by a manager, board member, or other staff member.
    • To notify the ward/interested party of the result of the review.
    • That invites a third party to review the grievance and assist with resolution as needed. The third party can be an advocacy agency, such as the:
      • Ombudsman office.
      • Aging and disability resource center.
      • County human services agency.
      • Disability Rights Wisconsin agency.
  • Timeline for grievance resolution: Timelines for each step in the grievance process.

Business plan

  • Executive summary: Describe the business and your professional background. What services are provided and to what disability groups? How will these services be delivered? Is there a need for these services in the area? If so, explain your solution. Do you have a unique partnership, management team, or staff? What is your business working toward? What makes your business more unique than others in the area? Is there a mission statement?
  • Business description and vision: Where is the business located? What are the business goals and objectives? Is there a business philosophy for you and the staff? What are the strengths of the business? Do you anticipate any changes in the near future?
  • Market analysis: Define the specific and tangible marketing goals. How do you plan to gain recognition and support? What does the business do to achieve the result of these marketing efforts? How do you plan on marketing the business to the target clients? How do you plan to promote your services? Explain how clients will benefit from your services.
  • Program operation(s): What are the business hours? Is there emergency contact information? Provide a description of how you will implement the services being offered. Also, include any pricing information.
  • Organization and management: How is this business managed and run? Include information about:
    • How and where services are offered.
    • Location of business.
    • Legal issues, such as permits, health regulations, travel, communication, etc.
    • How to manage personnel.
    • Whether there is an organizational chart or board of directors.
  • Financial management and staffing projections: What is the business financial plan? Include projections, budgets (start up and annual), and performance, for the next few years. What accounting or bookkeeping systems will you have in place? These systems should ensure that business operating funds are kept separate from wards' funds and also ensure a separate and complete accounting of each ward's funds as required in Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 85.12(6).
  • Staff development: You need a plan for training or staff development to ensure that employees are trained in:
    • Job responsibilities.
    • Prevention and reporting of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of ward property.
    • Information regarding needs and services for each ward.
    • Information about local resources.
    • Best practices for corporate guardians (such as those developed by the Wisconsin Guardianship Association or the National Guardianship Association).
    • Agency policies and procedures.

Finally, what plan do you have for employee continuing education as required by Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 85.10(2)?

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Questions about this application process?

Last revised March 20, 2023