What are State Teams?

During our first five years, we will pick and work with a total of 11 State Teams. A State Team is a group of leaders and people from different organizations that are working to advocate for alternatives to guardianship in their state. Currently, the Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice (CYVYC) is working with 8 State Teams (select a state to learn more):

Who works on a State Team?

Not all State Teams look alike, but they should include people from different organizations, different cultures, and different cities and towns across the state. Examples of people who can work on a State Team include:

  • Youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) between the ages of 14 and 26
  • Family members
  • Special education or school professionals
  • Doctors, nurses, and others who provide services to people with disabilities
  • Disability policy-makers
  • And more!

Each State Team has one lead or “backbone” organization. Most importantly, State Teams are co-led by youth with I/DD.

What do State Teams do?

State Teams come up with plans to promote alternatives to guardianship for youth (ages 14 to 26) and support Youth Ambassadors with this work. The State Team plans also try to lower the number of guardianships in the state. We help guide State Teams along the way.

What is the Community of Practice?

The State Teams are part of a big Community of Practice, where they share information about their work and learn from each other and from us. The Community of Practice works together to come up with ideas for how to better advocate for alternatives to guardianship across states. We help do that by holding a video call for all the State Teams at least every three months. The goal of the Community of Practice is to make sure this work lasts, even when the project ends.

How does a group ask to become a State Team and join the Community of Practice?

The application period for the second round of State Teams closed on February 10, 2022. The five new State Teams selected are from Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, and South Carolina.

STAY TUNED! The next Call for Applications is anticipated to be announced in early 2023. If you have any questions, please contact: Morgan Whitlatch, Director of Supported Decision-Making Initiatives at the Center for Public Representation, by email (mwhitlatch@cpr-ma.org) or phone (202-596-6116).