Referral Process

Referral Process

Information for GOLR Program

How do I get started?

Guardianship/Conservatorship is a court-ordered relationship and therefore it takes a judge to appoint a responsible party as guardian/conservator to oversee an individual who has been deemed incompetent to make specific life decisions.  To get guardianship and/or conservator in place, please consult with an attorney to set up a consultation meeting to discuss and develop a plan that appropriately meets the individual’s needs and provide support to the individual in the least restrictive manner to the extent as possible.  Please see “information and referral” link for the list of attorney’s.

For those individuals that require a guardian/conservator and have no one to serve in this capacity and the individual is connected to human service agent: social worker, case manager, advocate, attorney, etc. these agents can directly contact The Arc of Northern Virginia directly at (703)208-1119 to inquire

1) Openings within The Arc program or other guardianship of last resort programs within Northern Virginia

2) A referral packet specifically for The Arc (please ask to speak with guardianship representatives).

The referral packet will be reviewed by the Screening Panel whether or not there are any openings to ensure the person would meet The Arc’s criteria requirements.   If the person is appropriate, The Arc staff representatives will call the referring party and indicate that the person will either receive a slot..if there’s a slot available or be placed on the waiting list.


Who’s involved in the screening panel?

The screening panel includes:

– Two Attorney’s

– The Arc staff

– Concerned parent

– Mitigation Specialist with the Northern Virginia Capital Defender’s Office

– Special Needs Planner

– Case Manager

– A PRN Nurse Consultant.


What is the role of the Screening Panel?

The role of the screening panel is an important one…to determine whether guardianship is appropriate for the individual, or whether a less restrictive alternative should be sought. The screening team will also determine whether the individual will be effectively served by The Arc of Northern Virginia and whether they qualify under the program contract.


Criteria for an individual to meet requirements within the Guardianship of Last Resort Program are:

1) Individual must be indigent

2) Must be eighteen and over

3) No one else to serve

Although a person may qualify under the above criteria, it does not mean that a person will be accepted into the program if 1) there are no openings 2) if the program feels we cannot adequately serve the person based on limited staff and financial resources available.


What happens when an individual is accepted into The Arc’s program?

If a person is accepted by the panel, the referring agent will make arrangements with a lawyer to petition the courts and in all cases, a guardian ad litem is appointed to ensure the individual understand their rights, they require a guardian, and make appropriate recommendations to the courts.  A court order is established and a court date is appointed.  The Arc of Northern Virginia will be present at court proceedings.

Upon assuming the role of guardian and/or Conservator, The Arc of Northern Virginia conducts an intake process which involves gathering information from the individual, referring agency, other service providers, and any family or friends within reach.  Additionally, we create a personal support plan based on the client’s individual needs, wants, and desires that identifies the client’s goals.  The Arc also develops a values history that speaks on the individuals own values and wishes, as well as areas where the guardian needs to best assistance and support.

Thereafter, The guardian resumes their role by meeting with the individual and/or their support team on a monthly basis (if not more when needs arise).