Extended family members have often played a huge role in raising children when parents are facing different life circumstances. Agencies refer to this as kinship care. If you live in Texas, here are some factors according to the state’s family law statutes pertaining to children living with family members if they are unable to live with their biological parents.
How does a child end up in kinship care?
If a child is neglected or abused, professionals may remove the children from the home to ensure they are safe. Texas courts must consider placing the child with a resident temporarily. The Department of Family Protective Services prompts parents to get in touch with relatives who can care for their children.
The needs of the children are of the utmost importance to family law judges. In many instances, a Family Group Decision Making (FGDM)is conducted and all the individuals at the meeting will recommend a relative or family friend who is best qualified to take care of the child. DFPS will then conduct a home assessment to ensure that the potential guardian is suitable for the child. The Department of Family Protective Services will also try to take the desires of the parents into account when possible when it comes to how the children should be cared for.
Benefits of kinship care
A family law court may approve a recommendation for kinship care if it is believed that the children will be in a comfortable setting and will be consistently cared for. This child care arrangement enables children to reside with people they trust and love and makes it easier for children to continue family traditions that they are accustomed to.
Kinship care can provide a more stable environment for a child and could be less overwhelming than traditional adoption. Your family situation, the ability of certain family members to to care for your child, and your child’s best interest will be the factors in determining if kinship care is right for you.