Custody of Friends Children
by Anonymous from Florida
I have been taking care of my friends kids for the past 4 months, father is in jail, mother is now on meth and might be going to jail for stolen property. She said she wants me to have the kids if she goes.
She has been a very good mother till now and you can still tell she loves them but said she just can't take care of them in the right way at this time.
She wants to sign a document to give me rights to them but does not want to lose them either. My husband and I want to do the right thing for the kids. The oldest child is 4 and the youngest is 1. Please help.
Answer to Florida Child Custody Question
Someone needs to get Department of Children and Families (DCF) involved. I know that many people are reluctant to allow DCF into their lives.
If you and the mother contact DCF together and explain the situation, they may allow you temporary custody. Taking on someone else's children is a huge responsibility.
You sound like you have a generous heart, but you need to follow proper channels so that you can make sure the children have proper financial support.
It may be that you could qualify yourself as a foster parent to the children, and in that way, they could likely qualify for state assistance -- TANF and/or Medicaid. Have a look at the Department of Children and Families page on Foster Care
. Displayed on the DCF site is the following message:
The Department of Children & Families is one of the state agencies charged with assisting abused and neglected children. Notice:
The department does this by providing support services to children and their families, and, in some cases, providing a place outside of the home for children to live while their family problems are resolved.
In Florida each year, there are between 9,000 and 10,000 children who are removed from their home because they experienced neglect or abuse at the hands of a family member.
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