Special Guardianship Support
We support Special Guardians to enable them to provide a positive home environment for the children in their care and to support them with the challenges that come with caring for someone else's child.
A special guardian is a person who has been granted a Special Guardianship Order in regard to a child/young person by the courts and so has some parental responsibility for the child.
Our Special Guardianship Support Team work with Special Guardians, offering individually tailored advice, guidance and practical support, including:
- Support and reviews
- Support groups
- Advice around contact
- Telephone support
The Special Guardianship Support Team are located at North Bournemouth Local Office (NBLO), 27 Slades Farm Road, Bournemouth, BH10 4ES.
You can contact the team direct on: 01202 456279
What is Special Guardianship Support?
Under Regulation 3 of the Special Guardianship Regulations 2005, local authorities are required to make arrangements for the provision of special guardianship support services. These include counselling, advice, information and other services.
An SGO carer can ask for support with any of the following:
- Assistance with the arrangements for contact between a child, his/hers parents and any relatives that the local authority consider beneficial. This assistance can include cash to help with the costs of travel, entertainment and mediation to resolve any difficulties on contact.
- Assistance in relation to contact (including mediation).
- Respite care.
- Counselling, advice, information and other support services.
- Therapeutic services for the child.
- Counselling. Advice and information.
- Financial support.
- Assistance for the purpose of ensuring the continuance of the relationship between the child and his special guardian.
If the local authority decides not to carry out an assessment where they have the discretion, they must give the person notice of the proposed decision in writing including reasons for the decision. The person who requested the assessment must be allowed at least 28 days to make representations in relation to the decision.
If a child is living with a family member under an SGO, we may pay a Special Guardianship allowance. Payment is discretionary (unless the SGO carer was previously a foster carer), and the local authority will carry out a means-tested assessment of the carers circumstances.
The local authority may contribute towards any legal costs, including court fees
The local authority may make a contribution to the expenditure necessary for the purpose of accommodating and maintaining the child, including the provision of furniture and domestic equipment, alterations to and adaptations of the home, provision of means of transport, and provision of clothing, toys and other items necessary for the purpose of looking after the child.
If a family with an SGO move to another area, the originating authority retains financial responsibility. After 3 years from the making of the SGO the new authority will take over all other SGO support, but not the financial support.
Special Guardianship Support Services
- Monthly support groups
- Counselling, advice and information
- Mediation services
- Potential financial support
- Training and therapeutic services
- Respite care for special needs
For more information see your Social Worker or call: 01202 456279