Social workers in Wales will have to consider a broader range of factors when considering special guardianship arrangement for children, under new plans.
The Welsh government has launched a consultation on potential amends to the regulations which govern this increasingly favoured alternative to adoption – the Special Guardianship (Wales) Regulations 2005. In special guardianship vulnerable children unable to live with their parents are placed with extended family members or friends rather than being adopted by another family altogether.
If approved, the amended regulations would mean social workers having to inquire further into the suitability of potential special guardians than they are currently required to do. They will have to examine whether leaving the child with a relative could potentially expose them to future risk via their parents or other family members – and how well the potential special guardian is really likely to be able to meet the child’s needs. In addition, the local authority which cared for the child before the establishment of the special guardianship order would have to provide support to the special guardian for a period of three years.
The amended regulations should come into force on 1 July next year.
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