Saturday, January 30, 2010

More Education About Guardianship Needed in MO

The question of guardianship may seem like a simple decision to be made, but being placed under guardianship can have devastating effects for a person with developmental disabilities. It's often seen as the only option when a person needs assistance or support in making decisions, but disability advocates say it can lead to a loss of freedoms.

Preliminary results from a project on guardianship in Missouri show that more work needs to be done to educate the public about the rights of people with developmental disabilities.

Five years ago, Cristal Chapman says someone filed a petition to place her under full guardianship when she began having some personal difficulties as a result of her disabilities. She says she was forced to live hours away from her husband in a locked-down facility and had to give up some of her civil and human rights, even though she had done nothing wrong.

"They took away my freedom of religion. There was one point where they wouldn't let me talk to, see or write my husband. It was pretty bad."

With assistance from Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services, through the Guardianship project, Chapman successfully petitioned the court and restored her rights. Chapman is again living independently with her husband, and making her own decisions.

Full Article and Source:
More Education Needed in MO About Guardianship


Anonymous said...

This entire country needs "More Education" about guardianship! Most people don't know what they are getting into until the freedom is taken from them. This woman had a happy ending however, most don't because they are not able to get their rights restored. Perhaps the "supporters of guardianship say it's an option when a family member can't take care of a loved one with a disability" as if it's no big deal because they know once the hooks are into the vulnerable, there is hardly ever a release. It's a money making BIG business and it could happen to anyone.

Betty said...

Well said, Cristal Chapman. We hope you'll join NASGA and work with us for reform of the system.

Missouri Vic said...

Is Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services a state wide organization?

Applause for their involvement and assistance in freeing Cristal!

Advocating for elders said...

Right on, Anon1

Thelma said...

It's good to hear escape stories, because they're too rare.