Special Guardianship is used to provide a legal basis for children to live with others, often family members.
Special Guardianship is used to provide a legal basis for children to live with others, often family members. A typical scenario is when a grandparent steps in to look after a grandchild, but a recent case I had, involved a step-sister having an order, where for differing reasons, the parents could not look after their child.
A Special Guardian has enhanced parental responsibility with the result that they have the final say over important decisions that arise in the child’s life, for example, schooling or medical treatment. This is not to say that the parents are excluded from involvement, which provides an advantage over a child being placed with a relative under a care order. Under a Special Guardianship Order, the birth parent(s) still hold parental responsibility for the child(ren) concerned.
In order to become a Special Guardian the relevant local authority will need to carry out an assessment. In the event that the assessment is positive the local authority may be more open and willing to fund an application for a Special Guardianship Order application, as this may be a cheaper, and a more appropriate way to resolve the question as to where the child should grow up.
If any advice is needed about this aspect of law, please do not hesitate to contact us, our team will be happy to give you the benefit of their experience.