supported decision-making pilot project
Trying to determine whether to pursue legal guardianship of loved one can be one of the most difficult decisions families and caregivers may have to make in their life. Families and caregivers have to take into consideration how much independence and responsibilities their loved ones can handle while ensuring that they are reasonably safe from harm from themselves or others. To make matters more difficult, these decisions are often made without having accurate information about guardianship or the availability of alternatives to legal guardianship.
While in some cases legal guardianship is the right choice, it is not the only choice. Supported decision-making is a less restrictive alternative to legal guardianship. Instead of going through the courts to take away the rights of people with disabilities to make decisions for themselves, supported decision-making creates a network of support around the person to assist them in making their own decisions.
Considering supported decision-making? Ask yourself this,
“Given the right support, can the person with the disability make decisions for themselves?”.
Arizona’s Developmental Disabilities Planning Council funds the Supported Decision-Making Pilot Project. The goal of the project is to increase the use of supported decision-making as a less restrictive alternative to legal guardianship among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as the aging population. To achieve this goal, Southwest Institute for Families and Children, in partnership with The Arc of Arizona, and Arizona Center for Disability Law, are working together to develop and implement curriculum educating the public about supported decision-making and pushing for legislation to recognize supported decision-making as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship.