Pre-guardianship services prepare the child, prospective guardian, and birth parents for transfer of custody.
Interpretation: Extended family members may be included in pre-guardianship services if their involvement is culturally or clinically appropriate.
Age appropriate services that prepare the child for transfer of custody include:
Birth parents are prepared for transfer of custody through services that include:
Prospective guardians participate in an orientation that includes the following:
Interpretation: A guardianship subsidy can be considered income and could impact the child’s eligibility for other benefits such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, or subsidized child care. Agencies should be aware of the regulations in their state and with local tribes.
Interpretation: The orientation should explore the caregiver’s capacity to provide permanency over time for the child. This material can cover the need for additional support; circumstances that may adversely impact the caregiver's ability to care for the child, for example, age or presenting medical issues; and plans for the child if the caregiver is unable to provide care, such as the establishment of a successor guardian. See PA-GSM 8.05 for more information on the establishment of a successor guardian.
Interpretation: The prospective guardian should be fully informed of their right to petition the court to adopt the child at a later time and the impact this will have on birth parent rights. Guardians of Indian children should be informed of alternatives to adoption such as customary adoption.
Prospective guardians are prepared for the transfer of custody through education, training, information, and support that address the following, as appropriate:
Update: Revised Standard - 09/01/09
Interpretation: Information about available support services should include an overview of any services that will be lost once the guardianship arrangement is finalized, as well as the availability of services in other states, tribes, or Indian organizations if the family plans on moving out of state in the future.
Interpretation: Pre-guardianship services should be tailored to the age range, cultural background,and needs of the child and adjusted accordingly when the child is already living with the prospective guardian.