Public Guardian-Conservator (#EB3300)
$66.95-$81.38 Hourly / $11,605.33-$14,106.35 Monthly / $139,264.00-$169,276.27 Yearly


Under administrative direction, plans, organizes, staffs, directs and controls the county’s Conservatorship, Guardianship, and Substitute Payee programs; oversees and administers court-authorized personal case management and/or financial management as required under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, probate code, and other related legislation/laws/regulations; coordinates program activities with other agencies as needed; and does related or other work as required.


This single position, at-will class is assigned to the San Joaquin County Department of Health Care Services and is exempt from the San Joaquin County Civil Service System. The incumbent has broad, senior management responsibility for leading, managing, and administering the County’s public guardian and conservatorship programs and assuring that mandated activities are performed in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and codes. The incumbent is expected to model a strong work ethic and leadership skills, including accountability for oneself and others.


This specification is a general guideline for the class. The statements below are not restrictive, and the responsibilities and duties assigned to a position in this class may expand beyond those identified in this specification.

  • Plans, organizes, staffs, directs and controls various conservatorship activities under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act as well as guardianship and substitute payee activities as required by probate and other codes; oversees and administers investigative, case management, financial and other services as required by such activities; exercises good judgment and makes sound decisions in managing assigned areas and functions. 
  • Through subordinate managers and/or supervisors, oversees and directs a multi-disciplinary staff responsible for real and personal property estate management, individual case management, and/or case support activities; selects, assigns, trains, directs and evaluates staff and ensures appropriate management of subordinate personnel; monitors staff work activities and responsibilities; directs and administers personnel matters; directs employee discipline as required; directs and oversees staff development training. 
  • Oversees and directs the preparation of reports for conservatorship and guardianship hearings in Superior Court; oversees and directs the preparation of petitions and other required legal documents in conjunction with the County Counsel’s Office; oversees and directs the determination of available and potential sources of medical, social, and rehabilitative services, sources of appropriate home and care arrangements, and the scheduling of clients for needed services. 
  • Directs, reviews, and approves financial transactions on behalf of conservatees and guardianship wards; oversees and directs the purchase and disposal of real and personal property on their behalf; develops public and private financial resources for payment of care and incidental needs. 
  • Acts as the county’s official Substitute Payee for individuals who are unable to manage their funds but who are not designated as conservatees or wards. 
  • Acts on behalf of the Conservatorship/Guardianship Programs as the administrative liaison with staff in the offices of the County Counsel, Public Defender, Department of Public Assistance, Superior Court, Public Administrator, and other public and private agencies; may serve as the County representative in areas related to conservatorship/guardianship; helps develop public awareness of the services available; addresses public and private groups regarding conservatorship/ guardianship services. 
  • Directs and oversees the preparation of an annual financial report for each conservatee, guardianship ward, and substitute payee, and the presentation of such report to the Superior Court. 
  • Manages special projects; researches and analyzes statistical information and data; evaluates Conservatorship/Guardianship/Substitute Payee Program components and reviews staff activities to assure efficiency as well as appropriate accountability and responsibility; analyzes statistical data; interviews clients and/or others as needed to verify service levels; prepares complex correspondence, reports, and other documents; makes oral and visual presentations. 
  • Directs the establishment of administrative and/or operational policies and procedures to assure appropriate and efficient provision of services; analyzes and interprets existing and proposed federal, state, and local legislation, policies, procedures, and other directives to determine impact on assigned operations. 
  • Directs the development and implementation of quality control and quality improvement programs and initiatives; analyzes and monitors performance indicators and ensures that assigned operations meet established standards; recommends and implements process improvements to ensure operational effectiveness and superior customer service. 
  • Develops, prepares and administers complex budgets and fiscal plans; may review and/or write funding proposals; negotiates with contract agencies and/or individuals for services; assists and advises contractors in Program requirements; monitors contractors to assure that appropriate services are provided and recommends/initiates remedial actions if necessary. 
  • Attends meetings and conferences, including meetings of the Board of Supervisors; provides recommendations on matters germane to areas of assignment; participates on committees and task forces; develops and maintains cooperative and collaborative working relationships with federal, state, and county officials, other counties, community groups, and the public, and may represent Behavioral Health Services and/or Health Care Services as assigned; meets and confers with various agents to negotiate effective solutions to difficult problems; coordinates the provision of assigned departmental services.



Certification: Current Certification by the California State Association of Public Administrators, Public Guardians, and Public Conservators (CAPAPGPC). 

Education: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a master’s degree in public or business administration, accounting, finance, social science, psychology, or a closely related field. 

Experience: Five years of increasingly responsible management experience over financial or social case management, estate management, and/or trust administration programs for incapacitated or incompetent persons as part of a conservatorship/guardianship/substitute payee program. Desirable experience will have included assessment and responsibility for meeting clients’ needs related to medical/psychological treatment, placement, and legal/financial matters. 

Other Qualifications: The following qualifications are also desirable and may be considered as an alternative to some or all of the education/experience listed above: possession of a California license as a Certified Public Accountant; possession of a law degree from an accredited law school; or supervisory or management experience in a healthcare, financial, or legal business environment that included responsibility for program management, budget administration, or client case management. 


Certification: Must obtain certification issued by the California State Association of Public Administrators, Public Guardians, and Public Conservators (CAPAPGPC) within four (4) years of appointment under the standards and certification requirements set forth by the CAPAPGPC and maintain certification while employed in the Public Guardian/Conservator’s Office per Probate Code Sections 2923 and 1456.2. 

Special Requirement: Must pass background processes required by County policy and/or State law.


The California State Mental Health Act (Lanterman-Petris-Short Act), the Probate Code, and the Welfare and Institutions Code as they apply to public guardianships/conservatorships; principles and practices of public administration including supervision, planning, analysis, and investigation; customer service principles and best practices; basic psychological terminology; basic principles and practices of social casework; methods of financial control and accounting; court procedures relative to conservatorship, guardianship and substitute payee functions; principles, practices, and methods of estate administration and management, including legal requirements; project management; modern office technology and software relevant to assigned operations.


Plan, assign, and direct the County’s public guardianship/conservatorship programs in a cost effective manner while ensuring excellent customer service; provide appropriate and effective leadership, supervision and management of diverse staff teams, including subordinate managers and supervisors; work collaboratively with staff, other departments, and pertinent stakeholders to achieve successful outcomes and effectively represent clients and the County in a variety of public and private situations; exercise good judgment and make sound managerial decisions; exercise analytical and critical thinking to evaluate complex problems and recommend appropriate solutions; understand, interpret and apply complex laws and regulations pertaining to assigned operations; analyze and implement program mandates that comply with federal, state, or other types of regulatory requirements; formulate and present short and long-range plans; establish and maintain accurate financial and casework records; prepare accurate and detailed narrative and statistical reports; develop methods of financial control and verification; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships with others including the general public, Behavioral Health and Health Care Services staff, advocacy groups, and other departments and agencies, both internal and external to San Joaquin County government; work closely with gravely disabled and/or disoriented people; direct the provision of consultative services related to client care; recommend the development and utilization of effective automated systems.


Mobility – sitting for long periods; walking; occasional standing, pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, climbing; Lifting – frequently 5 pounds or less; occasionally 5 to 30 pounds; Visual – constant good overall vision and reading/close-up work; frequently color perception and use of eye/hand coordination; occasional use of depth perception and peripheral vision; Hearing/Talking – frequent hearing of normal speech, hearing/talking on the telephone, talking in person; Emotional/Psychological – frequent decision making, concentration, and public contact; Special Requirements—may require working nights and weekends; Environmental—occasional exposure to varied weather conditions.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: EB3300; EST: 8/24/1976; REV: 9/13/2016;