When a person with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities turns 18, parents will need to research the issue of guardianship and determine if guardianship is necessary for their young adult or if other protections would be appropriate. Guardianship is the legal power to care for another person and manage his/her affairs. There are many alternatives to guardianship that can be put in place to protect the young adult with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. There is no magic formula to determine when or whether guardianship is appropriate. Each and every situation is unique. Families should seek as much information as possible before making any decisions.

An Arc advocate will meet with parents to explain alternatives to guardianship and then the family can decide what is best for their loved one.

View our Alternatives to Guardianship flyer (pdf).

Position statement from The Arc of the United States:

The majority of persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities can manage their own affairs with informal assistance and guidance from family and friends. If guardianship is essential, it should be used only to the extent necessary with a presumption in favor of limited rather than full guardianship.