In general, if the child’s parents are unfit to serve as guardians or are no longer alive, the court may look to relatives such as grandparents to serve as guardians. Or, in many states, if the child has reached a certain age, a person of the child’s choosing may be appointed to serve as a guardian. Failing that, the court may even recommend a state employee who knows the child to serve as the child’s guardian.
Guardians have a number of responsibilities on behalf of the child. The guardian manages any money that goes to the child. This means not only taking care of the child’s basic necessities, but also managing the excess funds and other property that may exist. The guardian must also look after the child’s education. This may mean providing the child with a home in a certain location, so the child can attend school in the area school district.
The guardian may also seek public assistance or housing benefits for the child when necessary. The guardian can also, if needed, file a lawsuit on behalf of the child. Finally, the guardian can also make health care decisions on behalf of the child.
These varied roles of guardianship are all important. In essence, the guardian acts as a parent would have acted. Of course, the underlying component of all of this is the child’s best interests. Each child deserves to be cared for in the best possible manner, regardless of whether they are being raised by a biological parent or by a guardian.