Permanent Guardianship in Vermont
Permanent guardianship is a legal relationship, created in Family Court, between a child and relative or family friend. 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).
Before a permanent guardianship can be established, the judge must find by clear and convincing evidence that:
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).
Permanent guardianship provides children with a sense of permanency and home, while allowing them to stay connected — to family, tradition, culture, and community.
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.