New hope for children living in unstable homes

A court-ordered remedy called legal guardianship is gaining traction for its less-stringent requirements than the county’s child protective services, where in some cases county officials legally remove a child from a home.
News Story (California)

Martin Espinoza
Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, CA)
July 25, 2017

Tags: Foster Youth, Guardianship

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid of Sonoma County (California)


Legal guardianship is a remedy officials and legal experts say will increasingly play an important role in the ongoing effort to overhaul California’s foster care system. That reform seeks to end institutional care such as group homes and instead place kids in a family setting, whether it’s with the parents with county support, extended family members or trusted nonrelatives.

In addition, at a time when the nation’s opioid epidemic is ravaging families and local communities, legal guardianships can offer a less heart-wrenching route to keeping children safe.

Ronit Rubinoff, executive director of Legal Aid of Sonoma County, calls those who step up and care for a child not their own “heroes,” whether teachers, neighbors or a private citizen filing for the legal custodial arrangement. The selfless action often keep kids out of the foster care system, Rubinoff said.