How to transfer guardianship of children with autism
Oklahomans are trying to transfer the guardianship rights of a child with autism, a move that would allow them to have a home, family and social activities without the need for a court order.
Oklahoma law requires guardianship for children with disabilities to be transferred to parents or legal guardians for the child’s “long-term care.”
In the last 10 years, the number of children whose guardianship was transferred increased by 8 percent.
That’s a big number for Oklahoma, a state that’s often overlooked in court documents.
But the number is not as high in other states.
For example, the last time Oklahoma had a court-ordered transfer of guardians’ rights, in 2000, there were 2,632 children with intellectual disabilities in guardianship.
It’s the first time Oklahoma has had more than 1,000 cases of children’s guardianship transferred to a parent or legal guardian.
Oklahomians are trying this, but in a state with so few children with the condition, the process could be challenging.
Oklahoma has a special provision for children’s protective services, known as the “Special Situations Protection Order,” which protects parents from losing custody of a minor with the disability.
The state allows a child’s guardians to request protection from the court.
But Oklahoma is one of five states that have not made the process easier.
The Associated Press reported in January that the Oklahoma Department of Human Services said it could not provide a list of children and adults with autism who have guardianship and that it had no information about who is seeking guardianship or the number.
A spokesman said that the department could not comment on pending litigation.
The Department of Family and Protective Services has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Okansas’ public schools have adopted a new policy in which the district will provide care for children if they are in guardianships.
In Oklahoma, it’s not an automatic process.
Parents must first petition the court for guardianship in a case that involves the child.
But in the past two years, school districts have changed their policies to include the court-appointed process, which typically takes one to two weeks.
The AP contacted several Oklahoma public schools and found that many had changed their guardianship policies, which were often inconsistent.
A district spokeswoman said the district is now working with the court to ensure that all guardianship applications are made in a timely fashion.
“We have had a great relationship with the courts and are working diligently to ensure the health and safety of all our students and staff,” said Jennifer Hagan, a spokeswoman for the district.
She said that if the court orders the transfer, the school district will meet the court’s requirements and notify parents of the change.
Parents who want to change guardianship can go to court to change their guardianships, or they can contact the district directly.
In the meantime, the district says parents should not move forward with the process unless the court is ready to change the guardianships in their favor.
In Oklahoma, children with developmental disabilities can receive special protections in a “special situations” protection order.
In other states, a court will only grant a special situations protection order to people who are mentally disabled, a person with a developmental disability, or someone who has been in foster care.
The law states that a child is considered mentally disabled if he or she has an intellectual disability, intellectual developmental disorder, learning disability or learning disability related to a physical disability.
In cases involving intellectual disabilities, the court will determine whether a child has a “reasonable likelihood” of developing a disability.
The district says the number and severity of children who have autism vary by state, but the AP found that the percentage of children in guardians’ custody with autism increased by more than 30 percent in states that do not require guardianship to be made in the court system.
In states that require guardianships to be filed in the state, it has risen by nearly 20 percent.
lawmakers have been working to address the issue of children having guardians with disabilities, and in 2015, lawmakers created a special session to examine the issue.
Oklahoma lawmakers passed a bill in 2017 that made it easier for children to be placed in guardians, but that law expired in 2019.
A spokesman for the Oklahoma House of Representatives said that lawmakers are working on new laws and regulations for guardians’ access to children with special needs, but said the current law does not make guardianship requests or change guardianships without court approval.
“I have not seen any legislation in the House to address this,” said House Speaker Chris Holtzclaw.
“I think it is important that we keep moving forward,” Holtzclawsaid.
“This is an issue that should be discussed in the legislature, and the current bill is the appropriate way forward.”
Follow Amber Clark on Twitter: @AmandaClarkAP