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Our Guardian Advocacy Project Provides an Essential Service to the Forgotten and Deserted

April 11, 2016 - Last month, my letter focused on the importance of Legal Aid’s Public Guardianship Project. It’s such a vital program in our community that I want to touch on aspects of our work in guardianships in hope that you will be inspired to support our service.

For more than six years, our Guardian Advocacy (GAP) has provided case management and legal representation for many young individuals with developmental disabilities and/or special needs living in Palm Beach County who have been neglected or deserted.

These critical services are essential for providing individuals with the hope of achieving the highest level of function possible in the least restrictive environment.

Our Guardianship Advocacy Project (GAP) was established in 2010 with funding from the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners’ Financially Assisted Agencies (FAA) program, in response to an overwhelming need for services for individuals who are developmentally disabled and/or those with special needs.

Since its inception, GAP has been providing guardianship and legal case management services to two of the county’s most vulnerable and underserved populations:

(1) youth ages 18-24 who have recently aged out of the foster care and have been designated as developmentally disabled and/or have special needs; and

(2) individuals over the age of 25 who have a developmental disability and are without family or friends to care for or assist them, including those who have been deserted or lost their caregivers through death, age or disability. More specifically those eligible for GAP’s services have one or more of the following special needs or developmental disabilities: intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, autism, Spina Bifida or Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Our GAP staff provides advocacy support services and the legal representation necessary to help our clients achieve their personal goals and maximize their independence in the least restrictive, home-based community setting.

Legal Aid is improving lives within this delicate population. Every day, we are making a difference in the future of our clients.

I thank the community for supporting GAP.

If you want to help us support many more clients, please consider donating to our services by clicking here.