On March 30, 2023, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing on Guardianship and Alternatives: Protection and Empowerment. In preparation for that hearing, the Committee sought public input, stories, and recommendations for reform related to guardianship, conservatorship, and other protective arrangements. CPR shared this request throughout the Protection and Advocacy network and the broader community interested in advancing alternatives to guardianship, including Supported Decision-Making. The Committee ultimately received over 300 statements from 41 states and territories – all of which will be entered into the Congressional record of the hearing.
CPR submitted its own comment and recommendations for promoting Supported Decision-Making and dismantling pipelines to guardianship. CPR also supported seven Massachusetts Supported Decision-Making pilot participants who wanted to share their stories and submitted their own statements to the Committee. In addition, CPR led the effort of members of the Consortium of Constituents with Disabilities to submit a joint statement, further highlighting the need for reforms that go beyond improving judicial processes and that divert people from guardianship court systems and towards less-restrictive options.