A Special Guardianship Order appoints one or more people to be a child’s special guardian.
As a special guardian, you have responsibility for all aspects of caring for the child, including making almost all the major decisions about their upbringing. Special guardians have parental responsibility for the child, but unlike under an adoption order, the child keeps the legal link to their biological parents.
Support for special guardians
Families with children on Special Guardianship Orders are entitled to an assessment of need. They may be able to access a range of support services:
- Therapeutic Parenting Support Groups
- The support of a qualified and experienced social worker
- Help with referrals to other agencies
- Education – advice and support with dealing with any problems at school
- Contact issues – mediation and support with contact arrangements and managing, maintaining and reviewing contact
- Strategies for dealing with behaviour
- Relationships – access to mediation and support in improving communication
- Advice on sharing your child's life history
- Help to access therapeutic services – counselling for young people and theraplay for children if appropriate
Contact us for support
To get help from the Post Adoption and Special Guardianship Support Team you need to be referred to them. A referral can be done by parents, family members or a wide range of professionals:
- Complete our online form to request support or give us a call or email on our duty desk and we can send you an initial assessment of need form that you can fill out yourself and return to us by email.
The duty desk is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10am to 4pm and Tuesday and Thursday 9am to 1pm.
Phone: 01604 367301
After a referral is made
A social worker will ask you to fill out an initial assessment of need form to help us to understand your needs and those of your child and family. If you need help to complete this, we are able to support you. If a referring professional has already filled out this form, we will contact you directly once we receive it.
We will invite you to a therapeutic parenting group and to our support groups. This is the first stage of our support to families and is funded by the Adoption Support Fund. All other support will be most efficient if you have already completed this group learning. We can adapt groups to meet learning and social needs of participants.
If you still feel that you need further support, we will add you to a waiting list to allocate a social worker to you, who will make an appointment to come and visit you at a time that's convenient to you. Your social worker will work together with you to complete your assessment of need, which will identify the support that you need and the best services for you will be able to access. If appropriate, a plan of support will be developed with you and applications can be made to the Adoption Support Fund.
If you have already undertaken therapeutic parenting learning or are not able to engage with a group, we will contact you to allocate a social worker to your family.