Guardianship may not end at age 18 in California

30 Jan Guardianship may not end at age 18 in California

In some cases California children need someone other than their biological parents to be responsible for their wellbeing. While guardianship can be a rewarding experience for many California residence, it can also provide many legal challenges and hurdles that have to be addressed by the responsible adults.Some may be surprised to learn that children in the foster system in California can receive benefits after they have reached the age of 18. Under a state law that was passed a couple of years ago, teens can continue receiving benefits into their early 20s.This law has slowly been rolled out across the state over the last two years. It was passed in the hopes that it would allow foster children to have a smoother transition into young adulthood — which many non-foster children receive.Foster teens can take advantage of this extended time as long as they meet certain criteria. In most cases, they still have to meet with social worker — who help guide them into making adult decisions. These individuals also need to attend an educational program and work a minimum of 80 hours a month in order to receive benefits. Teens with certain medical conditions can also qualify for extended benefits. Generally, those in the program will receive up to $800 a month to live on their own, or they may stay in a foster home.

Those considering guardianship for a child, even a minor child, should understand the rights and responsibilities that come along with being appointed guardians. In some cases, it may be a fight to get children in the best possible environment and people may need to be prepared for that. However, with the right help, people can do the best for children that need help.

Source: Aljazeera America, “Calif. law gives foster care kids a boost into adulthood,” Revecca Ruiz, Jan. 26, 2014

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