Can a temporary guardian be held liable for the actions of the child?

Temporary guardianship is a legal arrangement that allows a caregiver to care for a child when the child’s parents are unable to do so. 

One important question that often arises is whether a temporary guardian can be held liable for the actions of the child. Here’s what you need to know.

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Legal Responsibility of Temporary Guardians

Temporary guardians have a legal responsibility to provide for the day-to-day care of the child. This includes providing food, shelter, and medical care, as well as making decisions about the child’s education, healthcare, and other needs.

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However, temporary guardianship does not give the caregiver complete legal authority over the child, and the temporary guardian may be subject to certain limitations or conditions imposed by the court.

While temporary guardians are responsible for the care of the child, they may not be held liable for the actions of the child unless they were negligent or acted recklessly. In general, temporary guardians are only responsible for their own actions, and not for the actions of the child.

Liability for Negligent or Reckless Actions

Temporary guardians may be held liable for the actions of the child if they were negligent or acted recklessly. 

For example, if the temporary guardian knew that the child had a history of violent behavior but failed to take steps to prevent harm to others, the temporary guardian may be held liable for any resulting injuries.

However, temporary guardians are generally not held liable for the actions of the child if they were acting within the scope of their normal behavior or if the temporary guardian took reasonable steps to prevent harm.

Importance of Clear Communication and Documentation

To minimize the risk of liability, temporary guardians should communicate clearly with the child’s parents or legal guardians about the child’s needs, behaviors, and any potential risks. 

The temporary guardian should also keep careful documentation of all decisions made on behalf of the child, including medical decisions, educational decisions, and any other important decisions.

If the temporary guardian is concerned about the child’s behavior or any potential risks, they should seek guidance from a licensed attorney or other qualified professional. By taking these steps, temporary guardians can help protect themselves from liability and ensure that the child receives the best possible care