The Department of Human Services provides assistance to adults with developmental disablities by providing court appointed guardianship or conservatorship services or by providing financial assistance to families or others in obtaining guardianship or conservatorship of an adult with a developmental disability.
- Establishment Program
The purpose of the Establishment Program is to assist families or friends of adults with developmental disabilities who reside in South Dakota pay legal costs up to $500 associated with establishing a guardianship or conservatorship.
- DHS Guardianship
The purpose of the Guardianship Program is to provide guardianship and/or conservatorship service through court appointment for adults with developmental disabilities who are receiving services or financial assistance from the department and who have no other individual or entity qualified and/or willing to serve in this capacity.
*The Legal Forms link connects you to the South Dakota Unified Judicial System*
The National Council on Disability (NCD) has released a report exploring guardianship within the context of disability law and policy. The report examines the treatment of people with disabilities within the legal system that establishes guardianship and the use of alternatives to guardianship such as supported decision-making. NCD offers recommendations aimed at 'align(ing) the use of guardianship and decision-making alternatives with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with particular focus on the integration mandate'.The report is available by clicking here.
WHAT ALTERNaTIVES SHOULD BE CONSIDERED PRIOR TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES BEING PLACED INTO A GUARDIANSHIP?
Information is contained in the following article discussing aspects of guardianship in more detail and emphasizing there are alternatives to consider prior to setting up a guardianship - Supported Decision-Making and Power of Attorney. The article explains how transition services can and should foster such alternatives. The article closes with a discussion of the Jenny Hatch case. To read the article, click here.