Welcome to the Friends and family carers forum.
You are involved in care proceedings in respect of your granddaughter and you have applied for a special guardianship order.
It is very good news that the guardian is supporting you and that you had a positive assessment. However, adoption still remains a possible plan.
You have been asked to file a position statement.
You already know the format so I will advise generally about the content.
I think it would be helpful to look at what a judge will consider when deciding where a child should live after care proceedings.
The judge will want to know about the pros and cons of each different arrangement. First, the judge will explore the possibility of a child returning to the parents and the support that has been provided to help this be achieved. Second, friends and family like yourself will be considered, third, long term foster care. Finally, adoption is considered but this is the last resort, if nothing else will do.
A special guardianship order will give you enhanced parental responsibility which means you can make nearly all of the decisions about your granddaughter, without needing to consult with the parents.
See our advice sheet about SGO's
When a judge decides whether to make a special guardianship order, s/he will need to consider the welfare principle, (what is in the best interest of your grandchild). The court uses the “welfare checklist
to guide it. So you should keep this in mind when you are writing the position statement. For example, one of the principles, is the “harm which a child is likely to suffer”. So this would be relevant in respect of how you might manage contact with the parents and whether you will need support from children services.
The statement is about you and your position. It needs to be fair and accurate.
These are some of the facts you might want to add.
Your relationship to the child (Maternal or paternal grandparent) and other parties; The date you made your application for a special guardianship order; Your wish for your granddaughter to live with you; How you have the experience to care for grandchild; If your grandchild has special needs, how you might access support, type of school you are considering etc; The support available from family and friends (if a family plan was made at a FGC-refer to it; How you will protect your granddaughter from the parents; Your view about contact with the parents and other family members and how this will happen?
It is very difficult for me to advise you of what specific facts to put in as I do not know your case. But you could call our advice line for advice on 0808 801 0366 or seek advice from a solicitor who specialises in children law.
Or please do post back if you have any questions.