“I am 29 with two teen-aged half sisters who live with their father, our mother, and our mother’s new husband. Our mother and her new husband are in and out of jail, not often in the house. I found needles and a prescription for someone else’s morphine next to my mother’s bed last time I visited, and I know she was arrested for possession of meth-amphetamines last month. Their father has to go to jail for unpaid fines on a DUI and has given my twin sister permission to have the girls live with her while he’s in jail since no one knows where our mother is. My twin sister is temporarily living with our older brother and his family (they both teach in the same school). We all agree that this is the best place for our younger sisters right now. I have two questions: Can my siblings receive state aid for housing and food of our younger sisters? Also, if our mother shows up, can she take our sisters, even if they don’t want to live with her?”
This sounds like a dreadful situation for your younger siblings! Your best bet in this situation would be to go either to an attorney (if you can afford one) or directly to social services in your town (if you can’t afford an attorney) and ask them for assistance in giving you or your brother and twin sister temporary guardianship over your younger sisters. That way they should be able to qualify for state assistance, and also you will have some authority to keep your sisters in the event that your mother shows up and tries to take them.