Permanent Guardianship in Vermont
Permanent guardianship is a legal relationship, created in Family Court, between a child and relative or family friend.
When Can A Guardianship Be Established
The judge may establish a permanent guardianship during any hearing at which a legal disposition about permanence for the child can be made (e.g., during a child protection or delinquency proceeding). However, before a permanent guardianship can be established, the judge must find by clear and convincing evidence that:
What Happens In A Guardianship
In a permanent guardianship, DCF is no longer involved; the guardian is responsible for the child’s day-to-day care, protection, and education; and the parents retain certain parental rights and responsibilities (e.g., the right to have contact with the child and the responsibility to pay child support).
If you are granted permanent guardianship of a child who is in DCF custody, you might be eligible for guardianship assistance.
This could include:
For More Information
If you are interested in pursuing a permanent guardianship for a relative or friend's child who is in DCF custody, contact the child's social worker.
Permanent guardianships provide children with a sense of permanency and home, while allowing them to stay connected — to family, tradition, culture, and community.