As a caring society, we have the obligation to understand, talk about and commit publicly to providing dignified decisional support services for the most vulnerable. Every available option, from guardianship to supported decision-making and other alternatives, should be explored and offered. Since 2014, the Massachusetts Guardianship Policy Institute has been helping to meet this need through research, education and advocacy, both locally and nationwide, with special concern for the needs of Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Guardianship Policy Institute is a non-profit collaboration based in Massachusetts that is committed to understanding and improving access to guardianship and its alternatives for all persons who, due to functional impairment, are unable to care for themselves or manage their property without help, especially those who lack personal and financial resources to find help privately. The Institute’s major activities are research, education and advocacy for effective and minimally restrictive decisional support services for the most vulnerable members of society. The Institute also is developing policies to improve support for family members and volunteer guardians, who represent the vast majority of appointees statewide. There are at least 14,000 such appointments among clients of Massachusetts social service agencies, and about 4,000 new guardianship petitions are filed each year, including both agency- and non-agency-related filings. And the aging of our population means that the number of such guardianships will grow in the years ahead. The Institute was established in 2014 as a collaboration between Guardian Community Trust and Greater Boston Legal Services. In February 2015, the Northeast Justice Center joined the Institute. Currently, there are six Members of the Institute and a Subscribers List of about 2,000. To become a Subscriber, or to confirm your status, please contact the Institute.