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AWARE Ink Newsletter

New Year, New Guardianship Status!



Sarah Chapman is marching straight into 2023 as her own guardian! How cool is that? It’s a huge success that allows her to make her own decisions about care and treatment, and it is a great example of meeting people where they’re at to deliver care in the least restrictive environment possible.


After AWARE targeted case manager Melissa Rebo spent some time with Sarah, it became evident that she was ready to achieve this significant milestone. So, they went for it! Melissa worked with Sarah’s care team to set things in motion.


As you might imagine, the typical guardianship processes can be tricky, complicated, and can sometimes become high-profile matters. Melissa didn’t hesitate though. She reached out to contacts at Disability Rights Montana for assistance. After further review, an attorney was assigned to Sarah’s case, and they filed for a hearing.


They prepared while they waited for their turn in front of a judge. Testimony was gathered from people who knew Sarah and could speak to her high-level of independence and acuity. AWARE’s FACT team was also called upon to provide an expedited mental health evaluation to further support the case.


In the end, though, once Sarah was officially in front of the judge, it was her own testimony that was compelling enough to determine the decision. When coupled with the mental health evaluation that was provided to the court, additional testimony wasn’t needed because the judge already had enough information to make a decision.

Sarah left the courtroom that day under her own guardianship, and it was a day of celebration for everyone involved!


This is a perfect example of how teams come together at AWARE for the benefit of the people in our care. The greatest successes we have are the ones that allow the people we serve to reach their goals and make strides toward becoming more independent. Congratulations Sarah and team – You certainly deserve it!

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