Allocation of Parental Responsibility (APR)
Allocation of Parental Responsibility also known as APR preserves the ability of the parent and child to maintain familial relationships under the supervision of the appointed custodial parent.PR, is where a Judge grants a responsible adult legal and physical custody of a child or youth. It is similar to when a Judge grants legal and physical custody to one parent over another in a divorce case except that the person receiving the rights does not have to be married to either parent. The Allocation of Parental Responsibility to another care giver can provide the child or youth the stability of adoption but does not require the termination of parental rights. It also allows the parent or parents the ability to maintain a legal relationship with the child, with possible visitation and decision-making authority.
A good example of the use of APR is:
A grandparent has been providing Kinship Care for a child. The parents have not successfully completed their Treatment Plans and there is a possibility that the Department of Human Services may file to terminate the rights of the parents. The grandparent requests to become the legal and custodial parent of the child. The Court may grant the grandparent’s request for Allocation of Parental Responsibility.
The appointed caregiver is given the legal documents necessary to provide for the child and the family’s case in the Dependency and Neglect case is closed. Thereafter, the APR is assigned a case number in the District Court in the county where the children will reside with the permanent caregiver; in this example the grandparents. If future litigation is needed regarding the care of the child, it can done through the assigned District Court Case.
Allocation of Parental Responsibility has numerous benefits to the child and family. These include:
- APR provides a permanent placement with a person/family willing to be a long-term caregiver for the child
- APR preserves the ability of the parent and child to maintain familial relationships under the supervision of the appointed custodial parent.
- APR preserves permanent relationships for the child in his/her community
- APR allows the parent to maintain his or her rights of parenthood
- APR allows the parent to continue to resolve his or her issues without the supervision of Denver Human Services or the Juvenile Court.
- APR allows for a parent to return to court and file for custody of their child or youth if his/her circumstances have substantially changed which would allow for safe return of the child(ren).
- Appointed legal custodians are eligible to apply TANF, Medicaid and Food Assistance
Who Can Request Allocation of Parental Responsibility of a Child or Youth?
Most often individuals seeking APR are relatives or extended family members of the child or parent or close adult friends to the family. Individuals who have a close relationship with the child such as teachers, mentors and advocates, and parents of a child’s friend have also been able to receive Allocation of Parental Responsibility.
The primary factors considered when APR is being considered are: the strength of the relationship of the child or youth to the one seeking custody, the ability of the requesting adult to provide for the physical care and safety of the child, and the probability that the one requesting custody will maintain the child or youth in their home and not return the child/ youth to the parents when the Dependency & Neglect case is closed.
How to receive Allocation of Parental Responsibility
If you are a family member or friend and wish to support a child or family by becoming an “alternate parent” for a child or youth contact us at our Foster Care Information line at 720-944-4000. We can direct you to the appropriate person to speak to about presenting your interests in Juvenile Court, the legal rights and responsibilities of APR and the process of becoming a legal custodian of the child