Florida has not passed supported decision-making legislation. A bill that would recognize supported decision-making has been previously introduced, but there are no new supported decision-making bills pending. There is case law that specifically recognizes supported decision-making as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship.
Fla. Stat. §§ 744.101 to .649; 747.01 to .052; 393.12 (guardian advocate for developmental disabilities)
- H.B. 1207 (Fl. 2022).
- Description: Authorizes adults with disabilities to enter into supported decision making agreements under certain circumstances; prohibits use of such agreements as evidence of incapacity; provides criteria for supporters; provides requirements for supported decision making agreements; authorizes adults with disabilities who have guardian advocates to enter into supported decision making agreements under certain circumstances; revises requirements for petitions to appoint guardian advocates.
- Status: Died on 03/14/2022 in the Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee
- Public Link [https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/1207]
- S.B. 1772 (Fl. 2022)
- Description: Authorizing adults with disabilities to enter into supported decision making agreements under certain circumstances; providing that such agreements do not preclude a decisionmaker from acting independently
- Status: Died on 03/14/2022 in the Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee
- Public Link [https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/1772]
- S.B. 1010 & H.B. 681 (Fl. 2021).
- Description: Creates Florida Supported Decision-Making Law & requires that petitions for guardianship state efforts to use less restrictive methods before seeking appointment
- Status: Died on 04/30/2021 in the Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee
- Public Link [https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/1010]
Case Law & Court Orders
- Story of M.M. (10/13/16 consent order terminated his guardianship in favor of supported decision-making)
- Story of T.B.
State Grant Programs
2016-2017 Grantee: Northern Florida Office of Public Guardian (http://northfloridaopg.org/)
- Summary: The Florida Supporting Choices Project, created by the North Florida Office of Public Guardian, has been working towards a two-fold objective. First, the project will establish a small support group made up of individuals with disabilities and older adults who have identified personal goals in areas where they wish to achieve greater decision-making independence. Second, the project will revise the existing “Florida Developmental Disabilities Council’s Developing Abilities: As Workbook for Persons with Disabilities” to remove any state-specific references.
- Contact: Karen Campbell, Executive Director, North Florida Office of Public Guardian, Inc., email@example.com, 850-487-4609, Ext. 103
- Supported Decision-Making Pilot Project
Disability Rights Florida (DRF) is hosting an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by the Florida Bar Foundation. The fellowship project, which runs from September 2019 to September 2021, aims to protect and restore the civil rights of people with disabilities in Miami-Dade County by expanding Supported Decision-Making (SDM) as an alternative to guardianship. The project includes: (1) free legal services for people in Miami-Dade County who either want to avoid a guardianship or terminate one; (2) education efforts, including local presentations in Miami-Dade County and developing legal information materials for statewide dissemination; and (3) legislative education on the importance of passing an SDM law in Florida.
While the legal services component of the pilot project is limited to Miami Dade County, DRF hopes to expand its Supported Decision-Making legal services to include helping individuals with disabilities across the state once the pilot project is completed. If you live in Miami-Dade County and are interested in learning more about using Supportive Decision-Making, please call 1-800-342-0832. If you would like information on the project or to collaborate with us contact our fellow Viviana Bonilla López at 850-617-9788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and Guardian Trust, Restoration of Capacity Study and Work Group Report (2014)
The study sought to increase awareness of the legal process of restoration through: (1) developing a website and accompanying manuals tailored to persons under guardianship and their families, self-advocates, guardians, the legal community and other interested parties; (2) advocating for the improved collection of data on guardianship and persons with developmental disabilities by the courts and state agencies; and (3) Conducting workshops designed for persons under guardianship and their families, self-advocates, guardians, and the legal community.
- Toolkit & Courses: Florida WINGS Decision-Making Options Toolkit and On-Line Courses
- Website: Disability Rights Florida: What is Supported Decision-Making?
- Website: I Decide Florida: Website in Support of Passing SDM Legislation
- PowerPoint: Department of Elder Affairs, Florida: Legal Rights and Decision-Making
- Article: Parenting Special Needs Magazine, M.M.
Information Last Updated: July 21, 2022