If you have day to day care of a child who isn’t your own natural child or is a child who is looked after by the local authority, there are ways in which you can formalise the day to day care of that child or children. You can apply for an adoption order, a residence order, be a kinship family foster carer or you could apply for a Special Guardianship Order.
A Special Guardianship Order bestows upon the special guardian parental responsibility i.e. the authority to make decisions relating to the child without having to obtain the agreement or indeed consult with anybody else. However, a special guardian cannot change the child’s surname or take the child abroad for more than 3 months without the agreement of anybody else who has parental responsibility or the permission of the Court.
Special Guardianship Orders have been particularly useful in those cases where the family are unlikely to get an adoption order but need more security than a residence order, this could be for example the case where grandparents have been caring for a child, or where a foster carer decides they would wish to care for a foster child long term.
The local authority are appointed within the Special Guardianship Proceedings to carry out an assessment of application to ensure it meets with the needs of the child, but it will also carry out an assessment of the support that the family require, which can be financial support, emotional support or practical support.
We understand how worrying legal costs can be so we have a range of payment options available to suit your budget and needs. We offer fixed fee packages alongside our traditional fee system. Our fixed fee packages run alongside our Legal Aid Contract as part of our commitment to provide legal services to the community at an affordable cost.
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