Special Projects Fund
January 2022 – December 2022
People in New York State’s guardianship system are struggling with serious functional limitations that negatively impact their decision-making abilities and quality of life.
When a person has limitations or diminishing capacity, an individual or entity can petition a court to appoint a guardian to help manage the person’s personal or property needs. In many cases, a family member, friend, or hired private guardian is appointed.
However, for people who do not have family or friends who can serve and/or who have limited financial means, it is extremely difficult to find a high-quality guardian. New York State does not offer a public guardian program for low-income people, instead relying on a patchwork of services from Adult Protective Services, community guardian programs, nonprofits, and attorneys. This fragmented system is not working for the patients who need the most help. In 2021, NYHealth awarded Project Guardianship a grant to create a framework for an improved and better-coordinated statewide guardianship program.