Taking on the guardianship of a minor is a huge responsibility, which may present the individual who assumes guardianship of a minor with a large financial burden that they cannot afford. In cases of adoption or in situations in which a child enters the foster care system, the parents are usually provided with a monthly subsidy which is intended for the support and the care of the child. However, in the past there has been little financial assistance offered to individuals who assume legal guardianship of a minor.
Relatives and family friends often hesitate to become the legal guardian of an abused, neglected or abandoned child because of the financial burden that it will place on them. If an individual does assume guardianship of the child, then they are responsible for providing the child with food, clothing, shelter, and all other necessities that the child will need.
They will also need to provide the child with access to medical care and provide them with financial assistance if the child needs it. Although the parents of the child may be required to provide the individual who has assumed guardianship of their child with financial assistance, it is not always the case that the guardian receives assistance from the child’s parents.
A relative of a child who is in need of guardianship may choose not to adopt the child for a variety of reasons. Adoption greatly alters family relationships, and an adoption will permanently strip the child’s parents of all of the rights that they have to their child. Accordingly, relatives may avoid adoption, and therefore, receive no financial assistance. Recently, the Government has begun to provide legal guardians with financial assistance, and many states have set up subsidized guardianship programs.
An individual who has assumed guardianship of a minor has the ability to request that the parents of the child they are caring for provide financial assistance for the care of their child. If the guardian is not receiving child support from the minor’s parents, then the Government will provide the guardian with benefits.
In 1997, Temporary Aid for Needy Families was established in order to provide assistance to families with a small income. Individuals who have undertaken the guardianship of a minor and are not receiving financial assistance may apply to the Temporary Aid for Needy Families for assistance. Legal guardians can receive between $300 and $400 every month from Temporary Aid for Needy Families in order to support and care for the child.
Many states have also established a subsidized guardianship program in order to encourage relatives and family friends to assume legal guardianship of a minor who is in need of guardianship. This will keep the child out of the foster care system and establish a permanent and stable home for the child.
The legal guardian will receive a monthly check from the Government to be put towards the care of the child. The amount given to the guardian varies from State to State. Thirty-five states have developed subsidized guardianship programs, including New Jersey, California, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico.