Become a Surrogate Consent Committee volunteer
If you're looking for a highly rewarding volunteer experience then you may want to consider becoming a volunteer for the Surrogate Decision-making Program (SDMP). The SDMP is a legislatively mandated program that is administered through the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS).
Surrogate decision making is a meaningful and non-intrusive alternative to guardianship for individuals receiving community-based services through the intermediate care facilities for persons with intellectual disability (ICF/ID) program who have been assessed to a lack the capacity to make certain treatment decisions for themselves and have no legal guardian. Volunteers make treatment decisions for these individuals as needs arise for major medical treatment, major dental treatment, administration of psychoactive medication and use of highly restrictive procedures (behavior interventions).
Surrogate consent committees
As a volunteer you will be part of a group comprised of three to five members, known as a surrogate consent committee (SCC), who attend a meeting known as a "hearing" at a predetermined location, date and time to review written documentation and hear testimony about an individual's need for a proposed treatment, medication or procedure. After consideration of the facts, the SCC makes a decision to approve or deny consent for the proposed treatment, medication or procedure.
SCC hearings are scheduled based on volunteer availability, so it is important to have a large volunteer base. Some areas of the state have more volunteers than others. Having a large volunteer base to draw from in a geographical area increases the likelihood that a hearing can be scheduled in a timely manner. In areas of the state where volunteers are limited, a time delay may be experienced in getting a hearing set or a community program provider may need to transport an individual to a location where there are enough volunteers to hold a hearing.
How to become a volunteer
To become a volunteer you must attend a four-hour training course designed to give you information about the program and your role as a volunteer. There is no fee for this training, and it is a good way to determine if this type of volunteer opportunity is right for you. The SDMP provides at least one volunteer training annually in Austin. Regional site training for new volunteers may be arranged if at least 10 people show an interest.
To learn more
If you are interested in scheduling an on-site training or if you have questions about becoming a volunteer or about the program, call Dennis Tomlinson at 512-438-4275.
Upcoming training for new volunteers
No training scheduled at this time.
Updated: December 5, 2012