Lately, I've written about grandparents providing kinship care for their grandchildren. Usually, but not always, this occurs in connection with relative placement where the parents have been involved in child protective services cases, and in family courts in neglect and abuse cases. In the latter, relative placement is always preferred to placement in foster care with non-relatives.
In 2009, the state legislature passed 2009 Public Act 0015, amended in 2008 Act. PA 0015 became effective April 9, 2009.
It amends the Guardianship Assistance Act (MCL 722.871–MCL 722.881) to do the following:
- Revise the criteria for a child to be eligible for guardianship assistance.
- Require a guardian to be a licensed foster parent and to undergo a criminal background check, and provide for a central registry to check for child abuse and neglect.
- Allow the DHS to enter into a written, binding, guardianship assistance agreement with a prospective guardian.
- Require the DHS to pay up to $2,000 for the total cost of nonrecurring expenses associated with obtaining legal guardianship of an eligible child.
- Require the DHS, if a child’s permanency plan includes placement with a guardian and the receipt of guardianship assistance, to include in the case service plan the steps taken to determine that reunification or adoption is not appropriate.
You can read the Guardianship Assistance Act here.