Legal Options: Child Welfare Is Not Involved

When Child Welfare IS NOT Involved

If you are caring for your grandchild or other relative, you have several options for giving you the authority you need to care for them. If you have nothing in writing, you have an informal agreement, which provides you with no authority. At a minimum, you need to get the child’s parents to sign a Power of Attorney. If you believe the child will live with you only temporarily, then a Power of Attorney may be all you need. Consider getting legal custody or adopting the child if it becomes more long-term.


It is unlikely that if you have a child living with you that was not placed there by child welfare, you can become a licensed foster parent for the child. You may be able to receive services from the Department of Social Services (DSS) to help stabilize your family to prevent the child from entering foster care, but these services will not include financial foster care payments or support services. Some counties may also have limited funds to help with things like clothing or childcare.

*Not Intended as Legal Advice