Special guardianship orders_presentationPresentation Transcript
Special Guardianship Orders Presentation Vale of Glamorgan Fostering Panel 22nd September 2010
Ruth Forrester Chair of the Fostering Panel and Registered Social Worker
This presentation will cover:
Origin and development of the SGO
Differences between Residence Orders, Care Orders, SGOs and Adoption Orders
Assessment of SGOs by Social Services
Specific issues in care planning raised by SGOs
SGOs and Foster Carers
Why were Special Guardianship Orders added to the Children Act?
New Order inserted into the Children Act
Children Act Order
Prime Ministers Review of Adoption 2000 identified the need for an Order giving permanence for older children, ethnic minorities and foster carers who do not want to adopt
Human Rights Act and contact
Concern about Residence Orders
Court Orders making permanent arrangements
Special Guardianship Order
Who can apply for a Special Guardianship Order?
Not the birth parents
Other relatives eg grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
Friends of the family
Foster carers when the child has lived with the carer for 12 months
NB The Court may at any stage request that an SGO assessment is undertaken
Who assesses Special Guardians and how is the assessment done?
All applicants must give their local authority 3 months notice in writing that they are going to apply for an order
Local authorities are required to produce to the court a report on all children, not just those who are looked after, when an application is made.
This report must include information about the child, the child’s wishes, the child’s birth family, contact arrangements, the prospective special guardian and recommendations about whether or not an order should be made
The court cannot make an order without having received a report.
The social worker who prepares the report is suitably qualified and experienced, but there are no restrictions on who can write the report as there are for adoption.
Problems in assessing SGOs
No framework for Local Authority decisionmaking
Problems in agreeing financial arrangements
Structure for review
Health care assessments - no structure
Future contact arrangements
Research on SGOs
No long term research in UK (orders are very new)
New Zealand research - problems about contact and financial arrangements
Recent UK research - same problems reported
Relevance of research on kinship carers (education and health issues)
Differences between Orders Area RO CO SGO AO Name change No No No Yes Education Agreement Yes Yes Yes Health Agreement Yes Yes Yes Emigration Agreement Complex answer No Yes
Implications to consider
Reinforces placement in family / with long term carers