Thank you, Suzie.
Although an SGO would probably have been sufficiently secure, the entire family felt that adoption would give 100% security for the child. Both her birth family and her adoptive family wished for adoption. F will be maintaining contact with her birth family.
This is a wonderful, informative and supportive site. Thank you all.
David Roth - Was the Children and Families Bill to make adoption leave available for SGOs ever put in place? I am unable to find this information out? I am applying for an SGO for my grandson and both my husband and I work full time. I am unable to find out if I am entitled to anything. I don't think we would qualify for any means tested benefits but some time off (paid or unpaid) would be helpful to help cover school holidays! I'd be grateful for any advice, many thanks.
David Roth wrote:Hi Celle - you are right that entitlement to paid leave is the most glaring difference between adoption and special guardianship. In most respects, the regulations about support that the local authority should provide are very similar - in fact almost identical - for SGO and adoption. However, an entitlement to adoption leave, similar to maternity leave, has been there for some time. When special guardianship was introduced in 2005, the same provision was not made. Family Rights Group, though the Kinship Care Alliance, has raised this discrepancy with government, but without bringing about any change. Another difference between SGO and adoption is that it is possible to make an SGO without the child having spent any time living with the carers before the order was made - one study showed this had happened in about a quarter of all SGOs. With adoption, the child will normally have a period of being 'placed for adoption' before the adopters apply for the order.
Special guardians can try to negotiate special leave with their employers. However, there is not a statutory right to this leave, and only a few enlightened employers might actually agree to provide it (I think FRG is one of those, last time I looked - we could hardly be promoting this policy and not implement it ourselves).
The new Children & Famillies Bill currently going through parliament would establish a new support framework for adoption, because the government wants to make adoption quicker and easier so that more children can be adopted from care. FRG has been tabling amendments (via sympathetic MPs and peers) which would put in place the same support for SGO as for adoption. We are very concerned that the bill in its current form will tilt the balance away from family and friends care and towards adoption by strangers for children coming into care. Anyone interested can read our response to the Children & Families Bill and our amendments here: http://frg.org.uk/involving-families/re ... -bill-2013
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