Abstract The purpose of this study was to clarify the current status of the Adult Guardianship System (AGS) in 32 municipalities in Aomori prefecture. This involved estimating the number of social welfare service users who were entitled to use the AGS, clarifying which type of social welfare service providers had more users who needed the AGS, and capturing the social welfare service providers’ perceptions of the AGS.
This was a cross-sectional survey. We sent questionnaires to 2,477 providers. Of the 2,477 providers, 1,094 of them (44.2%) returned completed questionnaires.
The results indicated that many users were entitled to the AGS, but they did not use the AGS. These providers recognized that the AGS was essential for users, but they were not sure how to access the AGS. The results of comparison of providers for the elderly and providers for users with disabilities showed that in the near future providers for users with disabilities would need more information about the AGS, compared with providers for the elderly. One of the reasons of the survey results seemed to be related with problem of aging parents of the users with disabilities. Receiving consultations about the AGS from legal experts and municipalities is useful for social welfare service providers. In joint council, social welfare service providers play an important role to encourage users to participate in the decision-making process. Social welfare service providers are experts of supporting the users’ decision making.