What is WINGS and How Did It Get Started?
WINGS stands for “Working Interdisciplinary Networks of Guardianship Stakeholders.” The idea for WINGS groups arose out of the 3rd Annual National Guardianship Summit held in 2011 at which aging, disability, judicial, and legal groups attended. The thought was that social change is more likely to occur with more stakeholders involved. As a result, several WINGS groups have been established around the country to drive reform, curb abuse, and provide less restrictive options to full guardianship, among other goals.
For more information on WINGS nationwide, go to the following link on the American Bar Association’s website: WINGS – Court Stakeholder Partnerships
In June 2017, Alabama established a state WINGS with funding from the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Law and Aging. The ABA Commission on Law and Aging, with the National Center for State Courts, in 2016 received an Elder Justice Innovation Grant from the U.S. Administration on Community Living to establish, expand, and enhance state WINGS. Although the funding period expired on June 30, 2019, the concept is that Alabama WINGS will be on ongoing problem-solving group.
Alabama WINGS is coordinated by the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts under the auspices of the Supreme Court of Alabama. Then-Chief Justice Lyn Stuart remarked, “I am pleased to see representatives of so many organizations come together to identify problems and propose solutions to issues affecting vulnerable elderly and disabled citizens of all ages." A Task Force of 29 members meets periodically to develop information, resources, and tools to improve guardianship and conservatorship practices in Alabama.