Special Guardianship Orders for children
Sometimes it isn’t possible for a child to continue to live with their birth parents. In this situation it may be possible to apply to the Court for a Special Guardianship Order as opposed to the child being adopted. This is an Order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s Special Guardian. It is intended for those children who would benefit from a legally secure placement and at the same time maintaining links with their parents. It can therefore be used to enable other family members to care for a child although the Special Guardian does not have to be a relative.
A Special Guardianship Order gives Parental Responsibility to the Special Guardian. This means that they can make decisions for a child including decisions about schooling and medical treatment. The local authority may also provide the Special Guardian with support such as counselling and may also include financial support.
A Special Guardianship Order is unique as it does not sever the child’s ties with his/her birth parents. A child’s birth parents will continue to have Parental Responsibility for the child and the child may continue to spend time with them.