What is a Guardianship Suitability Study?
Guardianship is the legal process of determining a person’s capacity to make decisions for him/herself regarding his/her personal affairs (such as where he/she lives or the care he/she requires.) Guardianship laws were set in place to protect those who are mentally ill, mentally retarded, physically disabled or elderly who are unable to make some decisions about their lives by themselves. A person may also seek guardianship in order to care for and have custody of a minor. A guardian is appointed by the court.
Parents are the guardians of minors, unless the parents are deceased, refuse to serve or are judged unfit to serve; only then may a guardian be appointed.
- The first step in establishing guardianship is to petition the probate court in the county where the respondent (the person for whom guardianship is sought) resides.
- You will be required to have a Guardianship Suitability Study performed. Christian Family Services, Inc. is a licensed provider of this study. You will need to call our office and be prepared to pick up an application from our office at which time a social worker will sign the “Confirmation of Petitioner’s Request for Guardianship Suitability Study” form. $200 Due at signing of “Confirmation of Petitioner’s Request” ($300 Due at time of home visit) for a total of $500.
- Once we receive your application, a social worker will contact you and schedule a time to come to your home. Everyone living in the home will need to be present for the meeting including the respondent, if possible.
- The social worker will send the completed Suitability Study to the probate court. It is important to note that just because CFS agrees to perform your Suitability Study this does not mean we will automatically recommend you as guardian.
- Once the court receives the study, they will schedule a hearing. The court will serve a written notice to the respondent stating the time and place of the hearing.
- If guardianship is granted, the law requires guardians to make annual reports to the court on how they have performed their duties in the past year and to check the status of the ward or minor.