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Rethinking Guardianship is a statewide, collaborative initiative funded by the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities and facilitated by Cares at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work. Our coalition consists of a diverse group of people committed to improving life for people who are experiencing guardianship or who could benefit from less restrictive alternatives to guardianship. We are self-advocates and their family members, policymakers, legislators, university faculty, and staff from nonprofits, businesses, and associations.

Cares at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work

Cares serves as the backbone entity supporting the Rethinking Guardianship initiative.

Cares was established in 1987 by Gary M. Nelson, DSW as the Center for Aging Research and Educational Services at the UNC School of Social Work to improve the lives of aging and vulnerable adults and their families in North Carolina.

Today, Cares provides education, community engagement, and policy analysis across the state in order to empower vulnerable adults and their families to experience choice and dignity in their lives.

For information:

NC Council on Developmental Disabilities

Rethinking Guardianship is currently funded by a grant from The NC Council on Developmental Disabilities, an organization dedicated to empowering people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) by supporting self-advocacy, independence, and the right to self-determination. The Council promotes inclusive and welcoming communities so people with I/DD have options to make choices about work, where to live, friendships, taking part in the various activities of their community, and other personally defined outcomes.

For more information:

The logo for the Rethinking Guardianship Website

Rethinking Guardianship Statewide Workgroup

The foundation of the initiative is the establishment of a statewide, long-term workgroup representing a range of guardianship stakeholders. The Rethinking Guardianship Workgroup is comprised of public and private guardianship providers, attorneys, Clerks of Court, aging disability advocates, academics, policymakers, family members, and individuals with lived experience of guardianship.