In some cases, the most
appropriate permanent plan for a child may be a permanent guardianship.
Typically, this occurs in cases with older children who may be placed
with a relative but have an ongoing relationship with a parent.
An order establishing a permanent guardianship divests the parent of
legal custody of the child but does not terminated his/her parental rights.
The court may order approving a guardianship if it finds the following:
||Guardianship is in the child’s
||The child has been adjudicated
||The child has been in the physical
custody of the prospective guardian for at least nine months (The court may
waive this requirement for good cause.)
||In CPS cases, reasonable efforts
were made to reunite the family and further efforts would be unproductive (The
court may waive this requirement if reunification services were not ordered or
reunification is not in the child’s best interest.)
||The likelihood that the child would
be adopted is remote or termination of parental rights would not be in the child’s
The burden of proof is clear
and convincing evidence (beyond a reasonable doubt in ICWA cases).
Any party to a dependency proceeding may file a motion for permanent
guardianship, and the court may order the motion to be filed if it determines at
the permanency hearing that permanent guardianship is the best permanent plan
for the child. The motion must be
verified and must set forth the facts and circumstances supporting the permanent
guardianship. The motion and a
notice of hearing must be served on all parties pursuant to Rule 5(c) of the
Rules of Civil Procedure. Additionally,
a copy of the notice must be provided to the child’s physical custodian, any
foster parent with whom the child has resided during the past six months, the
prospective guardian, all persons entitled to notice under ICWA, and other
persons as ordered by the court.