We help family members and foster carers obtain special guardianship orders. We can advise and support you in existing court proceedings or assist you in making a court application.
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Special guardianship orders provide you with parental responsibility that allow long-term caregivers to take more control over the care of a child. If a special guardianship order is granted, a special guardian will have enhanced rights and responsibilities as well as the option to override a parent’s views during conflict.
Our child care solicitors are experts in this area, having helped many families and foster carers in the past to obtain parental rights and responsibilities providing long term security for children. What’s more, we offer simple, easy-to-understand special guardianship advice without any legal jargon.
We promise to:
Remove lawyer-speak where possible and explain any legal phrases you’ll need to know as part of your case.
Be responsive — via email, phone, video call or any other form of communication you prefer.
Remember the little things and consider your unique family unit in everything we do relating to your case.
A special guardianship order is a legal order granted by a court to appoint one or more people to be special guardians for a child. These types of orders are made when a child is unable to live with birth parents, sometimes due to safeguarding issues. Often, a special guardianship order is linked with previous care proceedings.
Once granted, special guardians act as a legally secure placement throughout childhood. As a special guardian, you will have enhanced parental responsibility and the ability to make vital decisions relating to a child’s upbringing. Importantly, special guardians can override parent’s views during conflict.
Special guardianship orders are initiated by you notifying the local authority that you wish to apply for an order. We can assist you with this process. The local authority will complete an assessment and make recommendations as to whether a special guardianship order is in the best interests of a child.
If your case moves forward, the Local Authority will create a support plan outlining any practical and financial support the special guardian will be entitled to in the long term — and what is expected of the local authority and special guardians during the placement.
Unlike special guardianship orders, private adoption removes a birth parent’s legal rights and responsibilities and transfers them to an adoptive parent. Special guardians have enhanced parental rights, meaning they can override a birth parent’s decision but the parents retain parental responsibility ensuring that the legal relationship between a birth parent and their child is retained.
As part of special guardianship orders, the court will consider arrangements for contact between the birth parent(s) and the child to help facilitate this relationship.
You require a solicitor who has particular expertise in this complex area. Our child care solicitors have experience in dealing with applications to the court for special guardianship orders. We can advise you on whether a special guardianship order is the right order for you and the child and assist you through the whole process.
We have expertise in scrutinising the support plans provided by the local authority and will help you in ensuring the plan provides for the child’s physical and emotional needs throughout their childhood.
If you are a customer of Lockings Solicitors and we have contracted with you online you may be entitled to use the EU Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Platform to assist in resolving any dispute with us. This service can be found at https://ec.europa.eu/odr.
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