Wake County Human Services Adult Guardianship Program provides services that are mandated by Chapter 35A of the N.C. General Statutes. These services are provided to individuals who have been adjudicated incompetent by the court based on their need for a guardian to assist with decision-making in an area(s) of their lives.

Guardianship is a legal relationship in which an appointed guardian is authorized by the Clerk of Superior Court to be a substitute decision maker for an incompetent adult.

If you believe someone is unable to manage their own affairs or make their own decisions, perhaps due to injury or mental health issues or other disabilities, a petition may be filed before the Wake County Clerk of Superior Court to have the person adjudicated incompetent and to have a legal guardian appointed. (See Starting the Process below for more details)  


 Who We Serve:

Our clients include people who are elderly, medically frail, developmentally disabled, mentally ill or hearing-, speech- and/or visually impaired. We also serve people with dementia, brain injuries and clients with a combination of issues. 


What We Do:

  • We do serve as a surrogate decision maker regarding a person's services, which may include medical, residential, psychiatric and psychological services.
  • We do monitor these services by maintaining contact with providers and meeting regularly with both the individual and their providers.
  • We do visit the individuals and maintain as positive relationship as possible with both the person and their families or significant others.
  • We do advocate for the person's best interest and appropriate levels of care.
  • We do provide 24/7 emergency on-call services for persons whose health and safety are at immediate risk.
  • We do provide annual assessments on the individual's continued need for guardianship, which is reported to the Clerk of Court.


What We Can't Do:

  • We cannot force people to change their behaviors.
  • We cannot force people to act in their own best interest.
  • We cannot force medical, psychiatric or residential services.
  • We cannot prevent self-destructive behaviors or relationships.
  • We cannot prevent a person from leaving an unlocked facility.
  • We cannot force an agency or hospital to provide services.

Starting the Process:

If you are ready to begin the adult guardianship process or have questions about this program, please call the Wake County Clerk of Court at 919-792-4600.


Additional Resources:

Public mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse services are managed by Alliance Behavioral Healthcare. For questions about services for this disability population, please call Alliance Access and Information Center, 800-510-9132.


Mental Health Emergency Contacts

UNC Health Care at WakeBrook, 984-974-4830

If you are having a mental health emergency and need to speak to someone immediately, you can call 800-510-9132 or you can go to UNC Health Care at WakeBrook or call them at 984-974-4830.


UNC Health Care at WakeBrook
(Wake Crisis and Assessment Services)
107 Sunnybrook Road
Raleigh, NC  27610
(24 hours a day)

Therapeutic Alternatives, 877-626-1772
Crisis situations are often best resolved in the client's home setting, and the Mobile Crisis Team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to urgent situations.


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