We are delighted to announce that our physical office is re-opening to our existing and new clients. To provide safety to both our clients and staff, we are adapting the CDC guidelines for social distancing while we are in the yellow phase. Rest assured, that we have and will continue to regularly clean all areas of the office especially the high-traffic areas. All attorneys and staff will have their temperature taken daily and will be wearing masks when interacting with clients. Any attorneys and staff with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will work remotely. They will then be required to follow CDCrecommended steps, including not returning to work until the CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation are met.

As the health and safety of our clients and their families is our top priority, we are asking that our clients follow the procedures below during the yellow phase:

  1. Upon entering the building, we ask that all persons wash their hands or hand-sanitize. We will be providing access to soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
  2. We will also be taking temperatures with non-contact thermometers upon entering the office.
  3. Our office is set-up to comply with social distancing of six feet. In the conference and mediation rooms we are asking that each person sit a minimum of one chair apart from attorneys and/or staff at all times.
  4. Masks are available and will be provided open request.
  5. Teleconferences Zoom meetings, and FaceTime are available in lieu of inperson meetings if requested.
  6. We will continue to have the drop-box available for delivery of documents.

In the event that anyone is sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, we ask that you reschedule your appointment or utilize the electronic forums listed above.

As each county determines the procedures that will be followed, please ask your attorney of the specific procedures regarding the county in which your case in pending.

Please note that we will also continue to accommodate the needs of new clients, who are welcome, and as always we encourage and appreciate referrals. During this uncertain and unprecedented time, please stay safe and remember that Sweeney Law Office, LLC will remain by your side for all of your family’s legal needs. We ask that you have patience during this challenging time.

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Number of children who live with grandparents increasing yearly

Not only in Pennsylvania but all over the country, the number of grandchildren who live with their grandparents is growing every year. AARP statistics state that more than 2.5 million grandparents are undertaking the duty of bringing up their grandchildren. Any number of reasons may arise for parents needing their children to live with grandparents. A recent report gave an account of a woman in another state who began caring for her granddaughter just after she was born.

Because of a battle with drugs, the little girl’s mother did not want what she perceived as the burden of taking care of her daughter, so her mother took on the responsibility. The mother is now in jail on a murder charge, and the grandmother has legal custody of her granddaughter. It was not easy, as she did not know at first where to turn to get the legal help that was needed.

A Department of Children and Families worker in the area stated legal advice is the greatest need of many grandparents raising their grandchildren. A lot of these grandparents also face the fear that taking their children to court over custody will result in the children cutting off all access to the grandchildren these grandparents have come to love so fiercely.  Other than legal guidance, the DCF offers assistance with other challenges, such as school enrollment and medical care, and work to develop interactive skills and emotional well-being. Additionally, financial hardships may be a factor for some grandparents who no longer draw a pay check other than from Social Security, which is something the DCF representative indicated the organization will examine in the near future.

Children who are allowed to live with grandparents are afforded the opportunity to stay with family instead of being placed in an already over-crowded foster system. Organizations, such as AARP, have information on area support groups where these caregivers can get answers to any questions they may have. For legal assistance, Pennsylvania residents may want to speak to a professional when striving to make the best lives possible for their young loved ones.

Source: newsherald.com, “Growing number of grandparents are raising grandchildren“, Eryn Dion, April 17, 2016

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