SGO - post 18 entitlement to support?

Post Reply
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:06 pm

SGO - post 18 entitlement to support?

Post by Polly » Thu May 15, 2014 8:32 pm


We are currently long term fostering our granddaughters on care orders and are beginning to see some advantages in going for an SGO whilst also being aware of some of the pitfalls. At this stage we are gathering information to make a decision.

We think that if they stay as LAC and stay on in further or higher education but continue to live with us post 18 they may be entitled to financial support towards fees. Is this correct? Does it also apply if they stay with us after the SGO runs out. We have made an open ended commitment to see them into independence but will be living on small pensions by then.

Also we have some savings for retirement. Will that be counted as income if we get financial support from the LA (it will be means tested annually) but as our income isn't likely to go up we should get it til they're 18. We won't agree anything that unless it is in writing and run through a solicitor. We don't trust verbal agreements.

Are there any other entitlements or support available post 18. Any advice would be appreciated. We will not make a rushed decision. Thanks

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 542
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: SGO - post 18 entitlement to support?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon May 19, 2014 2:45 pm

Dear distracted gran,

Here is an advice sheet about the support available to children leaving care. As you can see there is quite a lot of support including the help of a personal advisor and a plan detailing the support that is to be offered.

If you were to seek a special guardianship order then you would get some of that support that looked after children get, once the order had expired when your grandchildren reach 18.

1)Specifically, in relation to university grants and loans, a parent is defined as a natural (ie birth) or adoptive parent. So as a special guardian, your income is not taken into account and you should not be liable for university expenses.

If your grandchildren are considered as “independent” of their parents-they will be assessed on their own finances. If not, then they will be assessed on their birth parents finances.

They are independent if they are,
• estranged from their parents (in the opinion of the Secretary of State),
• the young person’s parents have both died,
• the young person was looked after by Children’s Services for 3 months ending on or after 16th birthday.
Its our understanding that in most case they will satisfy the ‘independent student’ category, which means they will be eligible for financial assistance.

There was a lot of discussion about this on the board here grants for university. You can see that the carer had a favourable response from Student Finance.

2) Also as your grandchildren would be “looked after” by Children’s Services before the SGO was made, they will also have a right (between the age of 16 and 21) to “advice and assistance” from Children’s Services (which last looked after them) to make their own arrangements when moving into independent living. This includes advising and befriending, financial support and vacation accommodation for the young person if they are under 25 and in full time education.

I hope this helps towards making that decision! But please post back if you have any questions as the law in this area is very detailed.

Best wishes,

Post Reply