Attaining legal permanence is not always about finding a new family.
In some instances, it is about legally re-defining roles of existing family
members or establishing legal relationships with other adults who have a
family-like relationship with children through guardianship. Although
different from adoption, the adjustment to these newly defined responsibilities
can be just as complicated, including the need to address
children’s trauma and the changes in family dynamics. Social service
professionals can better serve guardianship families by learning about the
dynamics of the family’s permanent relationships, factors that influenced
their decision-making in choosing the guardianship option, and how those
decisions might affect the family’s current situation.