During the decade following 1978, six statewide initiatives addressed the need for reform in the Virginia guardianship system. In 1988, the General Assembly established a joint subcommittee to evaluate the status of guardianship in the Commonwealth and to make recommendations to enhance the existing program to ensure the protection of citizens who entrust their lives and property to the guardianship system. Additionally, prompted by the urgent need for a public response to the shortage of available guardians, the General Assembly directed the Department of Social Services to examine the possibility of reserving public guardianship for use only as a last resort. In January of 1990, the Department presented the results of that study and proposals for an appropriate legislative response to the Governor and the General Assembly in Senate Document Number Twenty-three, Public Guardianship: Program Design Options for Virginia. However, the 1990 Session of the General Assembly took no action on the proposals.

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