If you’re going through a divorce with children, you may have a lot of questions about custody.Generally, parents hold a preferred position under the law, which means a court will presume that the parent is the most fit and proper person to raise the child. Why Parents Lose Custody Rights. Placing the child with a relative, such as the grandparents, is usually less traumatic for the child than going to a stranger's foster care home for a number of reasons. The child should not have to adjust to different cultures, social preferences, language including colloquialisms, or neighborhood. The Foster Care Program provides the necessary support and training to enable foster parents to provide daily care and supervision for the child in care. Relatives who become foster parents may access the same services for children as non-relative foster parents. Foster parents must: Be at least 21 years old Some children stay in a foster home for days or weeks; some stay for months. Foster care is a temporary living arrangement for children who have been abused or neglected and need a safe place to live. Foster parents receive financial reimbursement to meet the basic needs of the children. Most often, when a child is placed in state care, the child is usually with a foster parent, or the State will attempt to first locate a relative who is willing and able to care for the child. Children in the legal custody of DSS may also be placed with relatives that can provide full-time care (kinship foster care), protection, and nurturing. Adoption is a lifelong commitment you make to a child and the legal status given to you as a parent to provide for the care, custody, safety and well-being of a child. Eligibility. The child should already know the grandparents. A foster family will do as much as they can to help your child. With the approval of a judge, the local Department of Social Services can take custody of the at risk child(ren) and place the child(ren) in a foster home. If DHS removes the child before you can get guardianship, then you can petition to be named a foster parent for the child. For more information about child custody after death, refer to the child custody guidelines of your state or speak with a qualified attorney in your state. It is very unfortunate for a child and all involved parties when a custodial parent dies. What is Adoption? The foster family works as a team with the local department of social services, the biological family, the child (when applicable) and any additional community partners. Here is a letter written by a typical foster family to the parent of a child in foster care. Every effort is made to help the child remain with his or her family, however, when a child comes into foster care they are most often placed in a foster home. In some cases, children are unable to safely return to their family home and are placed permanently with another family. This would be available through the child’s state or federal options. Foster homes provide children in care a temporary, safe, stable and nurturing home until they can be reunited with their families. In either situation, the State still retains “custody” of the child, which includes the ability to remove a child from a foster … It's equally difficult for loved ones to figure out who should obtain custody of a child whose custodial parent has died. As a friend of the family, and depending on the nature of your relationship with the child, you may qualify as a kinship placement, which is preferential to a general foster placement. Dear Parent: We are your child's foster parents and we will remain in your child's life only as long as your child needs us. A Word From Verywell . You will learn more about this during your approval process. 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