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Previously on this blog we discussed how guardianship differs from adoption. For many California families, a guardianship makes sense. It allows a child to obtain a safe and stable home while at the same time preserving parental rights. Although most, if not all, parental responsibilities are assumed by the guardian while the guardianship is in place, parents still have the opportunity to try to terminate the guardianship when they feel that they are fit to care for the child once again.

Serving as a guardian, while admirable, can be difficult. Not only may there be physical and emotional strain, but there might also be financial difficulties as well. This is why before considering guardianship, prospective guardians should assess whether or not they qualify for a guardianship subsidy.

Generally speaking, this assistance is available when reunification of the child with his or her parents is not appropriate, and neither is adoption. This means that the assistance program is primarily used to help children who may be in the state's child welfare system find permanency. By making financial assistance available, federal and state governments may broaden the potential pool of caregivers who are able to provide these children with the homes that they need and deserve. However, there are strict guidelines that must be in place, and oftentimes a court must determine that guardianship is in a child's best interests before the prospective guardian can move forward with seeking guardianship assistance.

The state has strong interest in ensuring that children in need find an appropriate and permanent home. This means that there are a number of legal options aimed at assisting those who may be interested in providing one of those homes to a child. To learn more about the process of guardianship, what guardianship duties entail, and how to go about trying to obtain financial assistance, Californians can speak to a qualified family law attorney.

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