Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Oregon Department of Human Services Search Site

Guardianship Process

About Guardianship

A relative providing foster care through the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) as a relative resource parent can become the legal guardian of a child in their care. 

  • A guardianship plan is considered by ODHS when it will best meet the child's needs for safety, permanency and wellbeing and when adoption is not in the best interest of the child.
  • Guardianship promotes a sense of belonging, increases stability, helps a child stay connected to family and their culture and allows relatives to provide a permanent home for the child without terminating parental rights.
  • Because parental rights are not terminated, parents often support a guardianship plan and may have a continued relationship with the child.
  • Relative resource parents can ask for financial and medical help through the Guardianship Assistance Program to support the child's special needs and make it possible to assume legal guardianship of the child.
Guardianship Assistance Program

Becoming a guardian

  • When a guardianship plan is approved and recommended by ODHS, a permanency hearing is scheduled with the court. 
  • The court will review the information to ensure the child's needs are being met.
  • After the court appoints a guardian, ODHS will no longer be involved in the care, supervision or legal custody of the child.

Contact the child's caseworker for more information about guardianship.

Duties of a guardian

  • A guardian appointed by the Court must submit a written report every year within 30 days after each anniversary date of the appointment of guardianship. 
  • If you do not have a copy of the annual report form or did not receive the form, please contact the court to request it.
  • The requirements for a guardian appointed under a Tribal Court may differ according to the Tribal Court Requirements. Contact the Tribe if further information is needed.
 Summary of guardian duties