Support the #Respect4SocialWork campaign today and celebrate the social work profession.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Special Guardianship Orders reach record high

The number of children placed with Special Guardians exceeds 5,000 for the first time ever

More than 5,000 children were involved in Special Guardianship Orders in the family courts during 2015, Ministry of Justice figures have confirmed.

The number of children placed with special guardians exceeded 5,000 for the first time, the statistics showed, a rise of 11 per cent from 2014 when 4,835 children were placed with guardians. There were 2,975 children placed with special guardians in 2011.

New regulations to strengthen Special Guardianship Orders came into effect at the end of February.

Under the regulations:

  • Social workers will need to include in their report any harm which the child has suffered and any risk of future harm to the child posed by their parents, relatives or any other person considered relevant, for example a partner of the parent.
  • Social workers also need to cover in their report that both the child’s current needs and their likely future needs are dealt with.
  • Special guardians will be assessed in their understanding of, and ability to meet the child’s current and likely future needs, particularly, any needs the child may have arising from harm that the child has suffered.
  • The assessment will also consider whether a prospective special guardian has understanding of, and the ability to protect the child from any current or future risk of harm.
  • Special guardians will also be assessed to consider their ability and suitability to bring up the child until the child reaches the age of eighteen.

It followed a government review of SGOs 10 years after their inception which found that there should be a robust assessment of the potential special guardian (or guardians) and their capacity to care for the child and meet his or her needs and decision making by local authorities, Cafcass and the courts should be robust, consistent, and based on sound evidence about the child, potential carers, and the options available, including the benefits and risks of different placement options.

In addition the review said that the placement should have a strong probability of lasting permanently until the child is 18 and children and carers living in special guardianship arrangements should have the support they need to do well and for the placement to last permanently.

The MoJ statistics also revealed that Emergency Protection Orders fell from 2,047 in 2013 to 1953 in 2014 and there was a dramatic drop to 1689 in 2015.

The MoJ figures come after Cafcass recenty released figures which showed that there was a record number of care applications in February 2016. See our special report here.



Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

New Deprivation of Liberty court launch for children


A National Deprivation of Liberty Court dealing specifically with applications relating to deprive children of their liberty has been announced by Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division.

The court will deal with applications seeking authorisation to deprive children of their liberty and will be based at the Royal Courts of Justice under the [...]

Read Full Story

Independent review into CSE in Oldham finds child protection procedures were not followed


Some children have been failed by the agencies that were meant to protect them because child protection procedures had not been properly followed, an independent assurance review into historic child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Oldham has found.

Evidence of poor practice was attributed to a structural flaw the review team found in the multi-agency system [...]

Read Full Story

Sixty Second Interview with Chloe Bach


Find out more about our Business Administrator Chloe Bach who has been with WillisPalmer since 2009.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee (oat milk latte)

What 3 things would you put in Room 101?

Migraines, slugs and war

What is your favourite place in the world?

Wherever my family is (but I do love New York)

If you were on death row what [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
WP Quality Assured

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram