Family Preparedness Plan
Every family should have a Family Preparedness Plan. While it is our hope that you never have to use your plan, it is a good practice to have one in place to help reduce your stress if the unexpected happens.
Before we go any further, know that we are not legal experts. Every family should take advantage of the many free and fee-based experts who are trained and licensed to provide advice to families. We are posting this information to encourage families to begin to build and maintain an up-to-date plan.
There are also on-line sources of help for families as you put together your plan. These have reminders about the many items to consider, sample forms, and helpful links.
Don’t be intimidated—you are simply documenting the plan that you already have in your head, and making sure your plan is clearly communicated should you not be available to serve as your child’s parent for a brief or extended period of time.
A very helpful website is maintained by Washington Law Help. Search their resources on line for the latest legal advice.
A document which can be especially helpful is a Temporary Parental Consent Agreement. This is a legal statement that, as a parent, you are giving your consent for another adult to assume responsibility for parenting your child, in the event that you are not be able to do so.
A couple of other important points:
- Be sure your emergency contact information at school is up-to-date, otherwise the police or DSHS are the only individuals who can pick up your child from school if you are not available
- Keep our child’s important documents together—immunizations, birth certificate, social security card, passport, etc.
- Notarizing the Temporary Parental Consent Agreement is helpful, even if the form says it is not necessary. Give a copy to the person designated in the Agreement and make sure your child knows who that person is.