The government has published a consultation document on the use of special guardianship orders.
These are a legal arrangement for children unable to live with their parents and were first introduced in 2005. They provide a secure home with extended family members or family friends, especially when such children are already settled in such homes, but such orders also allow the youngster to maintain legal links to their birth parents.
Special guardianship orders are also sometimes used to provide homes for unaccompanied, migrant children who arrive in the UK seeking asylum and for youngsters from ethnic minorities culturally opposed to adoption.
The consultation is aimed at local authorities, social workers, lawyers, special guardians, children living with a guardian, young people who used to do so, and other interested groups.
Read the consultation paper here.
Responses are due for publication this winter.
Photo by Stephan Hochhaus via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence