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Guardians and Other Caregivers

When parents cannot take care of their child, they need someone else to. Another person, often a family member, can help. This person can be a caregiver or a guardian.

Getting a guardian means going to court. Sometimes you do not need to go to court.

There are 2 ways a person can become a child's caregiver that do not involve going to court:

  1. Caregiver Authorization: Parents give the caregiver written permission to make educational and medical decisions.
  2. Temporary Agent: Parents appoint the caregiver as temporary agent for up to 60 days.

And there are 2 ways a person can become a child's guardian that do involve going to court:

  1. Parental Appointment of a Guardian: Parents appoint someone to be guardian of their child.
  2. Court Appointment of a Guardian: The Court appoints a guardian for the child.
Produced by Jeff Wolf, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Last Updated July 2016

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