Special Guardianship Orders
A Special Guardianship Order is a legal way of providing long-term stability for a child who cannot return to live with their birth parents and for whom adoption is not appropriate.
It gives the person caring for the child clear, long-term responsibilities for the child's upbringing without breaking the legal link between the child and their birth parent.
A Special Guardianship Order is made through a formal application to a court. You can apply to become a Special Guardian if you are over 18 and you are:
- Any guardian of the child
- A Local Authority foster carer with whom the child has lived for one year immediately before the application is made
- A relative of the child with whom the child has lived for one year before the application is made
- Anyone who holds a Residence Order in respect of the child
- Anyone who has permission from
- The Local Authority OR
- All those with parental responsibility for the child OR
- The court
When deciding whether to make a Special Guardianship Order the child's welfare will be the court's paramount consideration. A Special Guardianship Order will not be made if the court does not feel it is in the best interest of the child.
Once a Special Guardianship Order has been made, the Special Guardian will normally be the permanent carer for the child until that child reaches the age of 18. A Special Guardianship Order gives the Special Guardian parental responsibility for the child.
A copy of the Special Guardianship Fact Sheet can be downloaded here.
Last Modified: 23/07/2020
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