Special guardianship orders_presentation

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Special guardianship orders_presentation

  1. 1. Special Guardianship Orders Presentation Vale of Glamorgan Fostering Panel 22nd September 2010
  2. 2. Prepared by <ul><li>Ruth Forrester Chair of the Fostering Panel and Registered Social Worker </li></ul>
  3. 3. This presentation will cover: <ul><li>Origin and development of the SGO </li></ul><ul><li>Differences between Residence Orders, Care Orders, SGOs and Adoption Orders </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment of SGOs by Social Services </li></ul><ul><li>Specific issues in care planning raised by SGOs </li></ul><ul><li>SGOs and Foster Carers </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why were Special Guardianship Orders added to the Children Act? <ul><ul><li>New Order inserted into the Children Act </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children Act Order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human Rights Act and contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concern about Residence Orders </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Court Orders making permanent arrangements <ul><li>Residence Order </li></ul><ul><li>Care Order </li></ul><ul><li>Special Guardianship Order </li></ul><ul><li>Adoption Order </li></ul>
  6. 6. Who can apply for a Special Guardianship Order? <ul><li>Not the birth parents </li></ul><ul><li>Other relatives eg grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings </li></ul><ul><li>Friends of the family </li></ul><ul><li>Foster carers when the child has lived with the carer for 12 months </li></ul><ul><li>NB The Court may at any stage request that an SGO assessment is undertaken </li></ul>
  7. 7. Who assesses Special Guardians and how is the assessment done? <ul><ul><li>All applicants must give their local authority 3 months notice in writing that they are going to apply for an order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The court cannot make an order without having received a report. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Problems in assessing SGOs <ul><li>No framework for Local Authority decisionmaking </li></ul><ul><li>Problems in agreeing financial arrangements </li></ul><ul><li>Structure for review </li></ul><ul><li>Health care assessments - no structure </li></ul><ul><li>Future contact arrangements </li></ul>
  9. 9. Research on SGOs <ul><ul><li>No long term research in UK (orders are very new) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New Zealand research - problems about contact and financial arrangements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recent UK research - same problems reported </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevance of research on kinship carers (education and health issues) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. Implications to consider <ul><li>Children   </li></ul><ul><li>Potential stability </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforces placement in family /  with long term carers </li></ul><ul><li>Safety </li></ul><ul><li>Contact </li></ul><ul><li>Post 'care' issues </li></ul><ul><li>Disability </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>     </li></ul><ul><li>Foster carers </li></ul><ul><li>Money </li></ul><ul><li>Contact </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Litigation  </li></ul><ul><li>Other foster children </li></ul><ul><li>Future fostering? </li></ul><ul><li>Post 18 services </li></ul>

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