More than 300,000 children in Los Angeles live with a relative or non-relative caregiver because their parents are unable or unwilling to care for them.
What do we do?
Without a legal relationship, caregivers who are willing to parent these children are limited in their ability to protect and provide for them. By obtaining legal guardianship for these caregivers, the Alliance is able to guide families to a more stable future.
How do we do it?
The Alliance helps eligible caregivers become legal guardians of the children in their care by representing them in probate court. These matters involve children whose parents cannot care for them and are not part of the foster care system, but are living with a relative or non-relative caregiver. Legal guardianship can only be established by a court, not by a notarized letter from a parent. A court ordered guardianship allows someone other than a parent to care for a minor and to make day-to-day decisions concerning the child’s well-being.
Once guardianship has been obtained, a legal guardian’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to the child’s daily care, custody, education and medical care.
Additionally, legal guardianship allows a caregiver to apply for a passport for the minor in their care, consent to the minor enlisting in the armed forces and consent for a minor to obtain a driver’s license.
*A Caregiver’s Affidavit will allow you to 1) enroll the child in school and 2) if you are a relative, consent to medical care on behalf of the child. If you are not a relative, you may consent to school-related medical care only and it is recommended that you obtain legal guardianship.
**Under California law, a parent may give you authority to consent to medical treatment for a child in your care. The parent must sign the 3rd Party Consent to Authorize Medical Treatment. A notarized letter from the parent can serve as third party consent. For non-relative caregivers, a 3rd party consent provides better protection than a caregiver’s affidavit regarding medical care.