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The Virginia Department for the Aging (VDA) has funded Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens (AASC) to provide public guardianship services to individuals in Buchanan and Tazewell counties.

Public guardianship services are designed for individuals who are incapacitated, indigent, and have no suitable person to serve as their guardian. Guardianship ensures that their essential requirements for physical and emotional health are met, and that their financial resources are managed.

Referrals typically come through the Virginia Department of Social Services or other community-based organizations, such as Cumberland Mountain Community Service Board. Guardianship requests must go through Virginia Circuit Court. If the individual is found to meet the criteria for guardianship services, the local public guardianship program is suggested to the Circuit Court as a suitable guardian for the person. The Circuit Court makes the appointment and the program takes over as guardian for the incapacitated person.

Cedar Bluff Elementary students and teachers have adopted Guardianship participants during the 2011-2012 school year. Through a collaborative effort, teachers, parents, and students are working with AASC’s Guardianship Director, Mary Colley to ensure that the participants receive gifts and basic necessities through the holiday season and beyond.

At this time, space in the program is limited to 21 individuals.