- Report Published -
|2012 Biennial Report - Virginia Public Guardian and Conservator Program|
|Department for the Aging|
|§ 2.2-712 (9.)|
|The Public Guardian Program continues to respond to the documented need for guardians of last resort for adults aged 18 years and older who are adjudicated incapacitated and indigent by a Circuit Court and have no other person willing and able to serve as his or her Guardian. The current program has capacity to serve 601 adults through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS). As of the third quarter of 2011, the youngest client served by the program is 20 years old and the oldest client served is 102 years old. Demographically, 55% of clients served are middle age (30 to 59 years of age), 36% are older adults (60 years of age and older) and 9% are young adults (20 to 29 years of age).|
Relevance to the Olmstead Requirement
Comporting with the Commonwealth’s Olmstead initiative, the Virginia Public Guardian and Conservator Program continues to provide a cost effective method to transition vulnerable adults, who need a guardian, from Training Centers to improved lives in the community. Since 2006, with funding from DBHDS, the program has successfully enabled the transitioning of 44 adults to the community at an estimated savings to the Commonwealth of over $2,500,000 annually! This result was achieved through a coordinated team process involving Case Mangers, Public Guardians and Training Center and DBHDS staff. Some examples are included in this report.
Partnership with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Beginning in fiscal years 2007 thru 2009, the General Assembly invested significant resources through DBHDS to provide guardianship services to individuals currently residing in, or at risk of placement in, state mental retardation (MR) training centers. DBHDS, working collaboratively with the Virginia Department for the Aging (VDA), added significant capacity to the existing public program by authorizing additional slots for at risk adults. In addition, DBHDS funding enabled some previously unserved areas of the Commonwealth to have public guardianship services in their area. Currently, DBHDS funding accounts for approximately 50% of the Public Guardian Program budget.
The Virginia Public Guardian & Conservator Advisory Board (VPGCAB)
The Board serves as a technical resource and advisor for the Program and has been commended by VDA in past reports. Notable Board accomplishments are included in this Biennial Report.
Recommendations (Including Increased Funding to Address Unmet Needs and Unserved Areas of the Commonwealth)
VDA projects that an additional $2,721,800.00 is needed to serve an additional 537 vulnerable adults in the Public Guardian Program. This number includes individuals on waiting lists (242), individuals currently living in Training Centers who may require a guardian when they transition to community-based services (about 15) and other individuals in unserved and underserved areas of the Commonwealth (280). Unserved areas of the Commonwealth include the counties of Patrick, Henry, Pittsylvania, Halifax, Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Greensville, Lee and Dickenson. The additional funding amount needed also includes specific funding to cover the cost of legal fees and psychological evaluations required to petition Circuit Courts for Guardianship.