Special guardianship orders

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Special guardianship orders
  • Special guardianship orders
  • Special guardianship and parental responsibility
  • Removal from the UK and change of a child's name
  • The power to make a special guardianship order
  • Power to make an order of the court's own initiative
  • Conditions and directions
  • Criteria for making a special guardianship order

Special guardianship orders

Special guardianship orders

A special guardianship order (SGO) is an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child's special guardian. It has been described as 'a half-way house' between residence orders and adoption orders. The concept of special guardianship relates to the exercise of parental responsibility and not to parenthood.

Special guardianship is a private law order but it is available in both private and public law proceedings and will be considered as one of the options for a child in care proceedings.

Regarding consideration of an SGO in the context of care proceedings, on 24 May 2019 the Family Justice Council issued interim guidance on special guardianship, with the approval of the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, the primary purpose of which was to address cases where an extension to the statutory 26-week time limit is sought in order to assess potential special guardians more fully within public law children proceedings, in response to some of the issues identified by Sir James Munby in Re P-S (Children). See News Analysis: Family Justice Council issues interim guidance on special guardianship. Further guidance on special guardianship orders was issued on 15 June 2020 in a report by the Public Law Working Group in conjunction with, inter alia, the Family Justice Council, see: President approves special guardianship orders guidance LNB News

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