(1) If the permanency plan for a child established pursuant to section 43-1312 does not recommend return of the child to his or her parent or that the child be placed for adoption, the juvenile court may place the child in a guardianship in a relative home as defined in section 71-1901 , in a kinship home as defined in section 71-1901 , or with an individual as provided in section 43-285 if:
Terms Used In Nebraska Statutes 43-1312.01
- Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
- Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
- Person: shall include bodies politic and corporate, societies, communities, the public generally, individuals, partnerships, limited liability companies, joint-stock companies, and associations. See Nebraska Statutes 49-801
(a) The child is a juvenile who has been adjudged to be under subdivision (3)(a) of section 43-247 ;
(b) The child has been in the placement for at least six months;
(c) The child consents to the guardianship, if the child is ten years of age or older; and
(d) The guardian:
(i) Is suitable and able to provide a safe and permanent home for the child;
(ii) Has made a commitment to provide for the financial, medical, physical, and emotional needs of the child until the child reaches the age of majority or until the termination of extended guardianship assistance payments and medical care pursuant to section 43-4511 ;
(iii) Has made a commitment to prepare the child for adulthood and independence; and
(iv) Agrees to give notice of any changes in his or her residential address or the residence of the child by filing a written document in the juvenile court file of the child.
(2) In the order granting guardianship, the juvenile court:
(a) Shall grant to the guardian such powers, rights, and duties with respect to the care, maintenance, and treatment of the child as the biological or adoptive parent of the child would have;
(b) May specify the frequency and nature of family time or contact between the child and his or her parents, if appropriate;
(c) May specify the frequency and nature of family time or contact between the child and his or her siblings, if appropriate; and
(d) Shall require that the guardian not return the child to the physical care and custody of the person from whom the child was removed without prior approval of the court.
(3) The juvenile court shall retain jurisdiction over the child for modification or termination of the guardianship order. The court shall discontinue permanency reviews and case reviews and shall relieve the Department of Health and Human Services of the responsibility of supervising the placement of the child. Notwithstanding the retention of juvenile court jurisdiction, the guardianship placement shall be considered permanent for the child.
(4) The child shall remain in the custody of the guardian unless the order creating the guardianship is modified by the court.
(5) Guardianships established under this section shall terminate on the child’s nineteenth birthday unless the child is eligible for continued guardianship assistance payments under section 43-4511 and an agreement is signed by the Department of Health and Human Services, the guardian, and the young adult, as defined in section 43-4503 , to continue the guardianship assistance. The guardian shall ensure that any guardianship assistance funds provided by the department and received by the guardian for the purpose of an extended guardianship shall be used for the benefit of the young adult. The department shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations defining services and supports encompassed by such benefit.
(6) Upon the child’s nineteenth birthday regardless of the existence of an agreement to extend the guardianship until the child’s twenty-first birthday, the guardian shall no longer have the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the child and shall have no more authority over the person or property of the child than a biological or adoptive parent would have over his or her child, absent consent from the child.
(7) A guardianship established under this section does not terminate the parent-child relationship, including:
(a) The right of the child to inherit from his or her parents;
(b) The right of the biological parents to consent to the child’s adoption; and
(c) The responsibility of the parents to provide financial, medical, or other support as ordered by the court.
(8) The Department of Health and Human Services shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for the administration of this section.