Sacramento County Forms and Procedures

Guardianship Videos

These videos help non-parents who are taking care of children fill out the forms to obtain a formal court guardianship in Sacramento.

These videos do not cover the extra forms used for temporary emergency guardianships. If you need an emergency (ex parte) guardianship, download the Sacramento County Temporary Guardianship packet. You need to file all of the forms for a standard guardianship, too, so these videos will still help.

For additional information, step-by-step guides, and articles on guardianship, visit our Law 101 Guardianship page.

Guardianship Workshop Video

This is a recording of the Civil Self-Help Center’s guardianship workshop (Part One). which takes place on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Viewing this video and completing the forms prepares you to attend the Part Two workshop, on the second and fourth Wednesdays. CSHC attorney Eric Nakano illustrates how to fill out and file the required forms to start a guardianship case.

Applying for Guardianship Video Series

Friendly animated characters portray a legal aid attorney and a guardianship applicant and answer common questions such as how to find relatives, complying with the Indian Child Welfare Act, the guardian’s own background, and more. Also discusses alternatives such as Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit.

Forms for Guardianship in Sacramento

These packets contain the state and local forms you need to start a guardianship case in Sacramento County. If you are starting a case in another county, the state forms are the same, but check with that court to see if they have local forms you need to use. Statewide forms can be downloaded at the Judicial Council’s guardianship forms page,

Guardianship Packet, Step One
Guardianship Packet, Step Two
Temporary (Emergency) Guardianship Packet
Termination of Guardianship

Other Options

If you need to be sure the parent cannot take the child back, you will need a court-ordered guardianship. But guardianship is a lengthy process, and can be expensive.

You may not need a formal guardianship in many cases. Options include:

  1. The parents can sign a Power of Attorney for a Minor Child. 
  2. If the parents are not available, you can sign a Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit. These will allow you to enroll the child in school, make school-related medical decisions, and possibly other medical decisions as well.   More info on Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit.
  3. Fuller medical authority can be granted with a parent’s signature on a Guardianship Authorization form. For more information and a sample form, see Nolo Press’s book Guardianship Book for California, Chapter 2, available at the Law Library or online from any computer (Law Library or home) via the Legal Information Reference Center. Instructions are available on our website at

The parents can cancel any of these options at any time.