Been asked to do SGO.. views please!!

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Gingagirl
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:03 pm

Been asked to do SGO.. views please!!

Post by Gingagirl » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:20 am

Hi everyone!
Thank you so much for accepting me into this very valuable site 😁

We, husband and I, have been asked to take on our long term foster children on an SGO.
We have been their carers for several years and this would be amazing.. but I am concerned about the amount of support we will continue to receive especially during the teens and around contact too!

I have been told that there will be an agreement put in place for contact but where do we stand if our children decide not to see their birth family like they have been doing for last 2 years.. can mum be difficult now s/s not involved? How do we stand legally?

Thank you for your time and advice in advance x

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Been asked to do SGO.. views please!!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:26 pm

Dear Gingagirl

Welcome to the Family and Friends Carers’ discussion forum.

Thank you for your posts and I apologise that you have not received a response before now I see that you would be happy to be special guardian to the children whom you and your husband are fostering.

You would like to know the kind of support you would receive if you have a special guardianship order instead of long term foster carers. Your second post raises concerns about contact and I will respond to both in this post.

A lot will depend on the outcome of your assessment to be special guardians. Children’s services would have to assess the children’s needs now and as they get older in order to offer a support package for them. It is difficult to give you any detailed information about the support package, except to say that the financial allowance for special guardians is means tested. Also, special guardianship allowances are reviewed so, it is possible that the amount could be reduced depending on different factor, for example, economic climate and the child’s needs.

The situation for long term foster carers is different they are paid fostering allowances based on set minimum amounts. There is no set review to change the amount and in some instances foster carers depending on the needs of the child or children may be paid additional sums.

Any support that the children need would, as stated above, have to be assessed taking account of their ongoing needs. Children’s services should have a policy in place regarding the support they would provide to children subject to special guardianship orders. This should set out the position if children were previously looked after. You could also ask the social worker about how leaving care regulations might affect the children. You could ask the social worker for a copy of this policy and look at the local authority's website.

Your legal position, once you have a special guardianship order, would be that children’s services are no longer involved. You would have parental responsibility which you can exercise over and above the parents, if both have it or the mother if the father does not.

Regarding contact, the court can make a child arrangement order for contact. You would have the opportunity to say the level of contact you believe would be in the children’s interest. Bearing in mind that you have said ‘our children’ your post not wishing to have contact with the birth mother suggests that contact could be an issue so this is something that the person assessing you for a special guardianship order would need to discuss with you. Normally, courts take the view that children should maintain a relationship with the birth family provided it is in the child’s interest to do so.

If no order is made at the time the special guardianship order is made, then the mother could always apply to the court for an order. Have you considered how you would deal with the children wishing to have contact when they are older and how you might react to this?

Please read these advice sheets which provides more detailed information:-

Duties on Children’s Services when children are in the care system
Special Guardianship: what does it mean for birth parents?
Support for relatives and friends who are looking after someone else’s child

Whilst the children are under the care order to children’s services the mother has parental responsibility as does children’s services. As you know, you will share parental responsibility in the same way with the mother. As special guardians, you will be able to make decisions about the children without the mother’s consent but she should be informed of important decisions about the children.

I hope this helps, but should you wish to speak to an adviser, please telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays).

Best wishes

Suzie

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