Center for Law and Social Work (CLSW) can assist individuals obtain legal custody of a child in their care. Legal guardianship will allow the caregiver to make decisions for the child regarding his or her medical care, education, and visitation with birth parents.
As the legal guardian, you will have an easier time:
- Retaining custody
- Enrolling them in school
- Consenting to medical treatment they may need
- Applying for public benefits they may be eligible to receive
- Protecting them
Why do I need guardianship?
Many circumstances exist where a biological parent cannot care for their child. Those circumstances may include a parent who struggles with mental illness, drug abuse, developmental disability, or a serious physical illness, which renders them unable to care for the child on a day to day basis. In many of these situations a responsible adult steps in to care for the child. This responsible adult will need to be able to legally make decisions for the child, most importantly medical and educational decisions.
Guardianship is important for practical reasons, but it also has an emotional impact on the child, who will know that they have a stable place to live and a loving adult to care for them. The child is also able to keep the connection to their biological parent, which in many cases is extremely important to the child.