CPS Safety Plans

submitted by Sarah Hedden, Esq. Child Protective Service (CPS) is tasked with investigating reports of child maltreatment, and with keeping children safe. When a CPS caseworker finds a situation where a child is unsafe, they often work with the family to create a plan to keep the child(ren) safe while the parent works on the…

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Kinship Care Month – Celebrating Non-Parent Caregivers

September is Kinship Care Month. Kinship Care refers to caregiver grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, adult siblings, and even family friends. Nationally, more than 2.7 million children live with relatives, and New York State has more than 200,000 children living full time with kin. The Center for Elder Law & Justice provides free legal representation to…

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Temporary Orders of Protection during the COVID-19 Crisis

Submitted by Gabrielle Markle As of March 16, 2020, all non-essential matters in the Unified Court System of New York State were adjourned until at least April 30, 2020. Essential matters were narrowly defined to reduce traffic in the courthouse. It is advised that if you have an upcoming court date, to call the court…

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News for Kinship Families

Great news for non-parent custodians! I’m often asked, what’s the difference between guardians and custodians? Generally, Family Court issues Orders of Custody, and Surrogate’s Court issues Letters of Guardianship. There are several legal nuances, but one significant difference has been that non-parent guardians have the statutory authority to make medical decisions for children, just like…

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Significant Update to the Family Court Act

older person's hand with young child's hand

by Sarah Hedden, Esq. On October 29, 2019, an update to Section 1028-a of the Family Court Act was signed into law, paving the way for more relatives and “fictive kin” to be considered as placement resources when children are removed from their parents. It has expanded from relatives within three degrees of consanguinity to…

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