Special Guardianship Training Barnado’s Cymru Fostering and Adoption Team
Prepared byRuth Forrester Registered Social Worker Chair of Adoption and Fostering Panels Author of Special Guardianship Assessments in private and public law proceedings
This presentation will cover Origin and development of the SGO Differences between ROs, SGOs, Cos and Adoption Orders Assessment of SGOs by Social Services Specific issues in care planning SGOs and registered foster carers
Why were SGOs inserted into theChildren Act 1989? New Order inserted into the Children Act Concern about religious minorities Foster carers who did not want to adopt Older children who did not want to be adopted Human Rights Act and child contact, sibling contact Safety of residence orders
Court Orders making permanentarrangements Residence Orders? SGOs Care Orders Adoption Orders
Who can apply for SGOs? Not the birth parents Foster carers who have cared for the child for 12 months Relatives and friendsNB The Court can make a request for an SGO assessment eg in private law proceedings or care proceedings
Who assesses SGOs and how? Social Services (though can be delegated) Applicants must give 3 months notice Holistic report (child, birth family, applicants) Follows the SGO Regulations Must make a recommendation Undertaken by suitable experienced and qualified worker
Professional issues in assessment ofSGOs No framework (cf adoption and fostering) No health advice Often child/carers assessed by the same person Many Las – no structure for planning or review Future contact arrangements?
Research on Special Guardianship Very new Orders in England and Wales so no long term research New Zealand research, problems over contact and money Recent UK research – same problems Relevance of kinship care research eg Joan Hunt (identity ++, health/education --)
Can the carers agree to?Order RO CO SGO AdoptionName change No No No YesEducation Shared Shared Yes YesHealth Shared Shared Yes YesEmigration No Complex No Yes answer
Practice issues for SGOs Pressure on foster carers Money Support Ordinary residence Inheritance Contact / safety Disability Transition to adult services
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