Kinship Guardianship as a Permanency Option - Nevada

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Definitions

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 422A.650

As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, 'qualifying relative' means a person specified in title 45, § 233.90(c)(1)(v)(A) of the Code of Federal Regulation.

Purpose of Guardianship

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

A Guardian's Rights and Responsibilities

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 159.079

Except as otherwise ordered by the court, a guardian of the child has the care, custody, and control of the child, and has the authority and shall perform the duties necessary for the proper care, maintenance, education, and support of the child, including, without limitation, the following:

  • Supplying the child with food, clothing, shelter, and all incidental necessaries, including providing an appropriate residence for the child
  • Authorizing medical, surgical, dental, psychiatric, psychological, hygienic, or other remedial care and treatment for the child
  • Seeing that the child is properly trained and educated and that the child has the opportunity to learn a trade, occupation, or profession

Qualifying the Guardian

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.625

Before entering into an agreement for guardianship assistance, an agency that provides child welfare services shall obtain from appropriate law enforcement agencies information on the background and personal history of each relative of a child who seeks assistance, and each resident of the home of such relative who is age 18 or older, to determine whether the person investigated has been arrested for or convicted of any crime.

The relative and each resident of the relative's home must a complete set of fingerprints and provide written permission authorizing checks of State and Federal criminal records and a child abuse and neglect records screening.

Procedures for Establishing Guardianship

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 432B.466; 432B.4665

If the permanency plan for a child includes a request for the appointment of a guardian for the child, a governmental agency, a nonprofit corporation, or any interested person, including, without limitation, the agency that adopted the plan, may petition the court for the appointment of a guardian. A petition for the appointment of a guardian pursuant to this section:

  • May not be filed before the court has determined that the child is in need of protection
  • Must include the information required for a guardianship petition pursuant to § 159.044
  • Must include a statement explaining why the appointment of a guardian, rather than the adoption of the child or the return of the child to a parent, is in the best interests of the child

The court may, upon the filing of a petition, appoint a person as a guardian for a child if:

  • The court finds that:
    • The proposed guardian is suitable and is not disqualified from guardianship pursuant to section 46 of 2017 act, ch. 172.
    • The child has been in the custody of the proposed guardian for 6 months or more pursuant to a determination by a court that the child was in need of protection, unless the court waives this requirement for good cause shown.
  • If the child is age 14 or older, the child consents to the guardianship.
  • The court determines that the requirements for filing a petition have been satisfied.

Contents of a Guardianship Order

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 432B.4665; 432B.467(2)

A guardianship established pursuant to this section:

  • Provides the guardian with sole legal and physical custody of the child
  • Does not result in the termination of parental rights of a parent of the child
  • Does not affect any rights of the child to inheritance, a succession, or any services or benefits provided by the Federal Government, this State, or an agency or political subdivision of this State.

If a court appoints a guardian for a child pursuant to § 432B.4665, the court may order a reasonable right of visitation to any person whose right to custody or visitation of the child was terminated as a result of the appointment of the guardian if the court finds that the visitation is in the best interests of the child.

Modification/Revocation of Guardianship

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.468

The court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce, modify, or terminate a guardianship until the child reaches age 18.

Any person having a direct interest in a guardianship established pursuant to § 432B.4665 may petition the court to enforce, modify, or terminate an order concerning the guardianship. The court shall issue an order directing the appropriate agency that provides child welfare services to file a report and to make a recommendation in response to any motion to enforce, modify, or terminate an order concerning a guardianship established pursuant to § 432B.4665. The agency must submit the report to the court within 45 days after receiving the order of the court. Any motion to enforce, modify, or terminate an order concerning a guardianship established pursuant to § 432B.4665 must comply with the provisions set forth in sections 2 to 157, inclusive, of act 2017, ch. 172 for motions to enforce, modify, or terminate orders concerning guardianships.

A successor guardian may be appointed in accordance with the procedures set forth in sections 2 to 157, inclusive, of act 2017, ch. 172.

Kinship Guardianship Assistance

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 422A.650; 432B.622; 432B.623

The department shall establish a program to provide supportive assistance to qualifying relatives of children who provide care for and obtain the legal guardianship of those children. As a condition to the provision of assistance pursuant to this section, the child must:

  • Have been placed in the care of a qualifying relative for not less than 6 months
  • Consent to the guardianship if the child is age 14 or older

The qualifying relative must:

  • Reside in the State
  • Have attained the minimum age required by regulation
  • Verify his or her relationship to the child
  • File for and obtain court approval of the legal guardianship

The department shall establish and administer the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program to provide assistance to a relative of a child. As a condition to the provision of assistance, a child must:

  • Have been removed from his or her home pursuant to a written voluntary agreement or by court order
  • For not less than 6 consecutive months, have resided with a relative of the child
  • Not have returning home or adoption as options for permanent placement
  • Demonstrate a strong attachment to the relative
  • If the child is age 14 or older, be consulted regarding the guardianship arrangement

A relative of the child must:

  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to caring for the child permanently
  • Be a licensed foster care provider
  • Enter into a written agreement for assistance with the child welfare agency before the relative is appointed as the legal guardian of the child
  • Be appointed as the legal guardian of the child

If the sibling of an eligible child is not eligible for such assistance, the sibling may be placed with the eligible child upon approval of the child welfare agency and the relative. In such a case, payments may be made for the sibling as if the sibling is eligible for the program.

Links to Agency Policies

Nevada Division of Child and Family Services, Statewide Policy Manual, Policy # 1003, Kinship Care (PDF - 63 KB)