Written by Ella Woodward¦ Taking special guardianship of a loved one’s child is a beautiful and selfless gesture that can provide a safe and loving home for a child in need. This can be a difficult decision to make and will require a lot of effort and dedication from the special guardian. It is important to understand the responsibilities and potential consequences of taking on this role but also to recognise the potential rewards of providing a safe and loving home for a child who may not have one. There are many tools available to special guardians to help them in this journey, including legal advice and counselling, and it is important to take advantage of these resources to ensure that the transition is as smooth and successful as possible.
What Is Special Guardianship Order?
Special guardianship orders (SGO) are legal agreements whereby a relative or close friend is granted parental responsibility for a child. A special guardian takes on the legal responsibility for the care of the child or young person, including decisions around their upbringing and contact with the biological parents. This is a serious undertaking and requires the special guardian to make a commitment to the long-term care of the child.
Getting Legal Help To Navigate The Process
It is important to get legal advice and support when applying for an SGO. A lawyer can help to ensure that the process is completed properly and that all parties understand the implications of guardianship orders. Experts such as the National Legal Service can assist with this. They can also provide advice and guidance on the legal rights and responsibilities of the special guardian. They can also provide advice on how to ensure that the best interests of the child are taken into account throughout the process.
Creating A Safe And Loving Environment
Once the special guardian has been granted the SGO, it is important to create a safe and loving environment for the child or young person. It is important to ensure that the child’s needs are met and that they are provided with the care and support that they need to thrive. This can include providing them with a stable home, access to education and medical care, and emotional support, as well as mental health services. It is also important to ensure that the child feels safe and supported in their new home and to provide them with opportunities to express their feelings and emotions.
Utilising Helpful Services And Resources
There are many services and resources available to special guardians to help them in their role. These can include legal advice and counselling, as well as support from other organisations such as charities, schools and social services. It is important to take advantage of these resources to ensure that the transition is as smooth and successful as possible.
Communicating With The Bio-Parents
In many cases, when taking out a special guardianship order, the bio-parents are still able to be in the child’s life even if they are unable to provide the care needed. If this is the case for you, you will need to work out a plan of communicating with them in order to provide the most stable life for the child in your care while helping them maintain a relationship, if possible.