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Special guardianship orders triple

Three times as many babies are now made subject to special guardianship orders, new research reveals.

According to data obtained by the BBC, 520 babies were placed in special guardianship arrangements last year, compared to only 160 in 2012. The majority of affected children were aged four and under.

Special guardianship orders provide a secure home for vulnerable children unable to live with their parents. They are placed with family members or friends but, unlike adoptees, such children maintain a legal link with their birth parents.

Meanwhile, the number of children placed for adoption dropped by close to 50 per cent last year, when compared to 2013.

Some children’s charities have expressed concern at the development, the BBC reports, claiming that special guardianship does not provide the stability and permanency of adoption.

Andy Elvin of adoption charity TACT said the involvement of family members was to be welcomed but he questioned whether assessments were always sufficiently thorough and said post-placement support for special guardianship was sometimes lacking.

Cathy Ashley of the Family Rights Group echoed his observations, calling for “parity” in the support available to established special guardians.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. SL says:

    Our SGO assessment and placement hearing was subjective and flawed. Heavily biased and interfered with by the LA to make us look unsuitable. Our desire for an independent assessment was refused on the grounds of it showed we were unable to ‘work with professionals’ The social worker who was not fit for the task given. Any challenge to the assessment was never going to happen. We wasted thousands on legal representatives who I am sure now were in league with the LA.
    As for support, we were in it for our grandchild, not what we could screw out of the Social Services budget. I cannot get my head round Adopters wanting financial support for a child they want. Readily believe the dross fed them by the social services to make them feel better about adoption. Much the same way I imagine when I adopt a dog! At least It’s got a good home now!

  2. Janet B says:

    Were fighting to save my grandson & after 3 negative assessments the LA have agreed to a private assessment…although the person theve agreed to do this works for the LA …so we will be complaining about that

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