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New special guardianship regulations set to come into force

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New rules for special guardianship will come into force later this month.

This alternative to adoption provides secure placements for children unable to live with their parents and is most often used to enable the youngsters to live with extended family members or friends instead. Unlike adoption, children living in special guardianship placements maintain a legal link to their birth parents.

But adoption advocates have claimed that the assessment of potential carers is often rushed and mainly driven by a desire to offer the family courts an option for vulnerable children less drastic than adoption. The number of children placed with special guardians has risen by a steep 190 per cent since 2010, Community Care reports.

In December the government announced plans to strengthen the assessment process undertaken by social workers to try and ensure a potential special guardian is genuinely capable of looking after the child and meeting their current and future needs. Some candidates for special guardianship will have suffered psychological and emotional harm as a result of their experiences with their parents and under the new guidelines this possibility must also be taken into consideration.

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. Kathryn Trim says:

    I wondered if my mother and fiancé could apply for legal guardianship as my daughters father has not been in contact with my daughter for 5 years. We do not know his address and the last we heard he was living in Bahrain.


  2. Name Witheld says:

    i was capable of looking after my grandchildren and applied for SGO and was refused i appealed and was again refused the reason they gave was that i only wanted to make things right for my son i have fought for 3 years and will continue to do so

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