Guardianship Resources

  1. Are You Ready to Become a Guardian?. California Courts Self-Help Center page s . n.d.. Chinese English Korean Spanish Vietnamese .

    This handout is from the California Courts Self-Help Center and is one of the only Web sites that has guardianship information in multiple languages including: Spanish; Vietnamese; Chinese & Korean.

  2. Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center. Generations United page s . June 2006. English .

    This Web site provides information about states’ policies on guardianship and assistance for families in which grandparents or other relatives are raising children.  The Resource Center includes a database on statutes and legislation as well analyses of topics such:

    1. Care and Custody provides an overview of laws and policies related to gaining legal custody or guardianship of children being cared for by relatives.  It provides information on the benefits of gaining legal custody/guardianship of relative children, which is applicable to refugee families caring for children who are not their own. 
    2. Subsidized guardianship is an ongoing financial subsidy to eligible children who are in the permanent care of a legal guardian, such as a relative.  In many states, children must have been previously involved with the child welfare system to access this subsidy, but it is available in some states to families who have not had prior involvement with the child welfare system (which could be helpful for families caring for refugee attached minors).
    3. Relative foster care is when children, who are involved with the child welfare system, are placed with relatives rather than non-related foster families.  These relative caregivers are typically eligible for the same foster care payments and supportive services as non-related foster families.  This is an option for refugee children who are removed from their home by child welfare and go to live with a relative.
    4. Adoption may be an option for some relative headed families, but it is essential that the caregiver understand all the ramifications, including the termination of parental rights.  Yet, for refugee children whose parents have passed away and/or have been cared for by relatives for many years, this may be an appropriate option.  Caregivers should understand that adoption assistance programs are typically only available to children exiting the foster care system.
    5. The education section provides information on educational consent laws, which allow relative caregivers – without legal relationships to the children they are raising – to access school enrollment for the children without going to court.
    6. The medical section provides information on medical consent laws, which allow relative caregivers – without legal relationships to the children they are raising – to access health care on behalf of the children without going to court. 

  3. GrandsPlace: For Grandparents and Special Others Parenting Children. GrandsPlace page s . 1996. English .

    This Web site includes fact sheets for each state, which provide information on kinship care initiatives and resources for each location.

  4. Guardianship Toolkit. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) page s . 2003. English .

    These resources are for those assisting refugee families who are caring for non-biological children (such as grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, siblings, or friends). Overseas, these children are typically referred to as "separated children," while in the U.S. Refugee Program, they are typically referred to as "attached refugee minors." In the U.S. legal and child welfare fields, these caregivers are often referred to as "relative caregivers" or families with "kinship care" arrangements. The toolkit includes fact sheets for both refugee families and the staff that assist them, a highlighted resource list, as well as a searchable directory that provides basic information about the guardianship procedures in each state.

  5. State Child Welfare Policy Database. Casey Family Programs page s . n.d.. English .

    The Web site aims to centralize and make publicly available an array of state child welfare policies so that policy makers, practitioners, and other stakeholders can stay abreast of the policies that protect our nation's most vulnerable children.  Refugee service providers may find this site particularly useful for its information on guardianship.  Information on "guardianship policies" can be found within the section on "kinship care policies." 

  6. State Fact Sheets for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children. Children's Defense Fund (CDF) page s . n.d.. English .

    Eight organizations have collaborated to create individual fact sheets on kinship care for each state and the District of Columbia. Each fact sheet includes state-specific information on statistics on kinship care, local services and agencies serving kinship care families, foster care policies relevant to kinship caregivers, public benefits information for kinship caregivers, and relevant state laws and policies.

  7. States' Subsidized Guardianship Laws at a Glance. Children's Defense Fund (CDF) 17 page s . October 2004. English .

    This report provides information about subsidized guardianship, which offers subsidies and services to relatives caring for children.  The information in this report is not as current as the information from the Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center, but it provides the information in useful charts, which compares eligibility requirements by state.