A Special Guardianship Order is an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian. It is a private law order and is intended for children who cannot live with their birth parents. Whilst this is a private law order, it is regularly used in care proceedings when a child is placed with family members.
If a Special Guardianship Order is made it will secure the child’s long-term placement with the special guardian(s), grant the special guardian parental responsibility and enable the special guardian to make daily decisions about the child.
Special guardianship was introduced as an alternative to adoption. The use of Special Guardianship Orders has been the highlight of recent research and in particular the use of overseas placements. Potential carers need to be assessed before a Special Guardianship Order can be made. This can be more difficult when assessing overseas carers. A Local Authority can commission a local assessment where the carers live or the Local Authority can undertake their own assessment. Whilst this can be an added difficulty to a case, children should be given the opportunity to remain in a family placement wherever possible and safe to do so. Therefore, appropriate assessments need to be undertaken.
At Hewitts Solicitors we offer private and public family law assistance.
If you need advice concerning any family matter, please contact any of our offices.