Adult Guardianship

Do you know someone who has an unmet need to have medical, residential, financial and/or other personal decisions made on his/her behalf because the individual’s mental state is compromised by illness or injury?

If so, Commonwealth Catholic Charities Private Guardianship Program has services to help.

Who might benefit from CCC’s services?

Since 2005, Commonwealth Catholic Charities (CCC) has provided caring, quality guardianship services to indigent individuals who have been determined by a court to lack the capacity to make informed decisions on their own behalf.  CCC is now offering the same quality services to the general public. CCC serves individuals who have been determined by the circuit court to be incapacitated due to such conditions as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, brain injury, intellectual disability, and/or chronic mental illness.

What does CCC’s Guardianship/Conservatorship Program provide to protect the well-being of its clients?

Experienced guardianship specialists perform the following for each client:

  • Monthly and as-needed visits with the individual
  • Care monitoring and communication with family and other care team members
  • Assessment, advocacy and care management to meet individual’s needs, comforts, desires
  • Consent for services
  • Annual reports to the local Department of Social Services and Commissioner of Accounts
  • Review of the ongoing need for guardianship
  • 24/7 on-call availability
  • Financial management

What considerations should be made before pursuing guardianship?

Given that removing an individual’s rights is a very serious course of action all less restrictive alternatives should be exhausted for the individual and it should be determined that no appropriate person in the individual’s life is available to serve as legal guardian.  Specifically, have the following been explored and found inappropriate?

  • Representative payee/conservatorship
  • Care coordinator or manager
  • Measures that can be established while person is competent:
  • Durable Power of Attorney (medical and/or financial)
  • Advanced directive
  • Living Will

 If pursuing guardianship is the least restrictive alternative, what steps need to be taken?

  1. Any concerned party may submit a referral to CCC for an individual needing guardianship.
  2. Factual information is gathered about the individual.
  3. The individual’s case is presented to review by CCC’s multidisciplinary panel.
  4. If CCC accepts the individual, the referring party petitions the Circuit Court to request a hearing.
  5. If the Circuit Court finds the person incapacitated, the referring party suggests CCC as a suitable guardian.
  6. The court appoints CCC as the guardian.

What principles guide CCC’s guardianship program?

CCC’s guardianship program recognizes its responsibility to make judgments that reflect the individual’s values to the highest degree possible and to act in the best interest of the incapacitated person while maximizing his/her independence. Clients are encouraged to participate in decision-making to the furthest extent possible. Person-centered plans are developed that are in keeping with the findings of a comprehensive values assessment. CCC is an active member of the Virginia Guardianship Association .

What is the difference between guardianship and conservatorship?

Guardianship applies to personal decisions, such as medical or residential, for an incapacitated person, while conservatorship applies to the management of the person’s estate and finances.

What is the difference between public and private guardianship-conservatorship?

Public guardianship is a government funding program that provides guardianship services to indigent incapacitated adults that meet certain criteria for services.   Private guardianship/conservatorship is a fee for service program.

To whom is the CCC guardianship program accountable?

CCC is subject to review by the Council of Accreditation, the individual’s local Commissioner of Accounts, the individual’s local Department of Social Services, and the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (public guardianship only).

How can I reach CCC’s Guardianship program?

For information contact: 804-285-5900