Washington implements guardianship reforms

By Andy Jones | Published: August 15, 2011

All nonprofessional guardians for people with disabilities in Washington State will be required to undergo on-line training and have their licenses periodically renewed, under a new bill that went into effect July 22.

Prior to filing a petition, prospective guardians will be required to complete a free on-line training regarding their duties as guardians. The training will also inform the potential guardians of alternatives to guardianship, such as serving as a payee to manage an individual with disabilities’ finances, or a power of attorney.

Training was previously required only for professional guardians, defined as those who are guardians for three or more residents or are paid to serve in their roles as guardians.

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see Report of the Guardianship Task Force – August 2009

Washington State Life Opportunities Trust

Developmental Disabilities Life Opportunities Trust (also known as the DD Endowment Trust Fund or DDLOT) allows individuals with developmental disabilities or their families to set aside funds for future use without affecting their eligibility for government services and benefits. Funds can be withdrawn from the trust and used for many services not covered by other benefits, including recreation, therapy, clothing and transportation.

Website: http://ddlot.org/

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Report – October 2009

Children and Adults With Developmental Disabilities: Services in Washington, Research Evidence

The Washington State Institute for Public Policy was directed by the 2008 Washington Legislature to estimate the effectiveness, costs, and benefits of programs for individuals with developmental disabilities (excluding special education).

We reviewed the research literature to find the best available evidence on the economic impacts of services for individuals with developmental disabilities and found that residential services in the community for similar groups of adults with developmental disabilities cost less on average than institutional care. In some research, supported employment increases clients’ wage earnings and taxes paid, with a reduction in public costs. Several programs have demonstrated positive impacts on various life outcomes.

Website: http://www.wsipp.wa.gov/pub.asp?docid=09-10-3901