Past Free Webinar – January 16,2017

Supportive Decision Making – An Emerging Alternative to Guardianship

By: Anita Raymond, MSW

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When working with people with cognitive, psychiatric, or intellectual disabilities, we often turn to guardianship to address risk and vulnerability. But is this an overly restrictive tool? This webinar will discuss Supported Decision Making, an emerging paradigm for vulnerable populations and a person-centered model addressing safety concerns while protecting the dignity of persons at risk. Based on an Elder Justice Grant initiated in 2016, Volunteers of America has launched the Center for Excellence in Supported Decision Making to reduce unnecessary guardianships at the individual and systems level.


  1. Explore the tension guardianship presents between helpful tool and infringement on civil rights.
  2. Understand the person-centered approach of SDM and how it protects individual rights while still protecting those who are vulnerable to maltreatment.
  3. Learn about Minnesota initiatives to address these issues on individual and systems levels, including the Guardianship Information Line, the Center for Excellence in Supported Decision Making, and WINGS MN

Anita Raymond, MSW, Program Manager, Protective Services and Care Management & Consultation Programs, Volunteers of America MN & WI

Anita Raymond recently became the Project Director for the Center for Excellence in Supported Decision Making at VOA MN and Coordinator of WINGS-MN (Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders). She provides information, advice, consultation, and assessments regarding vulnerable adults with questionable decisional capacity, and petitioning to establish guardianships when there are no other options. Anita is the By-Laws Chair for the Minnesota Association for Guardianship and Conservatorship (MAGiC). Additionally, she is an active member of the MN Elder Justice Center’s partners group, and a frequent presenter to professional groups on topics including guardianship and conservatorship; alternatives including supported decision making, ethics of client self-determination and rights, and more.


Research and Related Articles

IADD & Arc Position Statement on Supported Decision Making

National Guardianship Association Position Statement on Supported Decision Making

Supported Decision Making in Later Life, by David Godfrey

Supported Decision-Making: What, Why, & How by Morgan Whitlatch

DHS Videos on Supported Decision Making:

American Bar Association: The PRACTICAL TOOL