We are excited to announce the development of a Guide to Legal Guardianship in Child in Need of Care Cases (“Guide”). The Guide grew out of an awareness that legal guardianship appears to be underutilized in Louisiana. Guardianship is a status that can be authorized by a court exercising juvenile jurisdiction in a Child in Need of Care (CINC) case. The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, 42 U.S.C. § 671 et seq., promotes the use of guardianships to increase permanency for children in foster care. The Guide contains:
- An Introduction;
- Guardianship Overview; and
- Comparison Chart of Legal Custody, Legal Guardianship, and Adoption in Child in Need of Care (CINC) Cases (“Comparison Chart”).
The Comparison Chart provides a summary of key concepts for custody, guardianship, and adoption in Louisiana CINC cases. The Comparison Chart is intended to:
- Clarify differences among the options of custody, guardianship, and adoption available to the court;
- Enable stakeholders to identify the most appropriate option given the facts and circumstances of each case; and
- Assist judges in making fully informed decisions regarding permanency for the child.
We hope the new Guide will assist you in determining critical permanency options for Louisiana’s children and families.