The Subsidized Guardianship Program aims to provide children with a permanent and stable home while also giving their guardians financial assistance. This is for children who have been judiciously removed from their homes and are under the custody of The Department of Human Services (DHS).
The court will not allow a child to be placed in a situation that is not in their best interest. For a child to be eligible for this program, the court has concluded that reunification with their birth parents stands in opposition to what is in the child’s best interest. In some circumstances, it may not even be possible.
If and when the child is placed with another relative or fictive kin (someone who isn’t related to the child by birth, adoption, or marriage), the guardian will receive monthly payments to help offset the cost of raising the child (or children).
In addition to the child’s eligibility, the guardian also needs to be considered. Prospective relative guardians are going to have to have to show a strong commitment to the child. The child, in addition, will be consulted about this arrangement and placing. Children who are 12 and older will even sign a consent to guardianship.
The guardians and the children will have had a pre-existing relationship. To be considered, the child must have lived in the home of the prospective relative guardian for at least six consecutive months. Furthermore, the house cannot be a provisional foster home and must be fully approved.
Another common question about subsidized guardianship is how siblings are handled. Siblings will remain together if the court believes it is in their best interest. However, the siblings can be related biologically, but having a connection through a marriage (step-siblings) or other legal ties still allows them to remain together.
When one child qualifies and meets the Arkansas Subsidized Guardianship Program’s eligibility requirements, that will also qualify the child’s siblings. Again, that only applies if it has been determined that being together is in their best interest.
If you have any further questions regarding guardianship (for minors or adults) in the state of Arkansas, contact the trusted and established lawyers at OMG Law. We proudly represent clients throughout northeastern Arkansas. At OMG Law, we take your family law matters as seriously as you do. Allow us and our experience to work for you.