If you wish to care for a child whose parents are unable to look after them, you can obtain legal guardianship, parental responsibility and sometimes financial support by obtaining a Special Guardianship Order.
Caring for a child who’s not your own
There may come a time when social services request that you look after a child that is not your own. For example, your brother or sister may not be able to properly care for their child due to mental illness or drug-related problems.
A Special Guardianship Order (SGO) issued by the court gives legal recognition to a person caring for a child who is not your own. A SGO entitles you to making important decisions for that child which affect his or her life, for example, their education, medical care and religion.
If you are planning on caring for a child that is not your own, you should seek advice from an experienced Children Law solicitor to allay any worries you may have.
Important things to consider
Applying for a SGO may mean that you can receive financial help as well as practical help from your local council. There are a lot of things to consider if you are thinking about a SGO such as carers’ rights versus parents’ rights, including contact arrangements (sometimes called visitation rights).
The law in relation to SGOs is relatively new and is still developing. It is a specialist area of law and it helps to get advice from a solicitor experienced in aspects of Children’s Law.
When applying for a SGO, it is very important that your local authority complies with the small print. The right legal advice will ensure you get the best results for yourself and the child in your care.
We have prepared a factsheet with more information on Special Guardianship Orders. For more information, please click here.
Why use Fisher Meredith?
Fisher Meredith is an award winning London law firm with offices in Richmond, Surrey and Kennington, London. Our Children’s Law solicitors have an outstanding reputation for acting on behalf of individuals with highly successful results.
For 35 years, Fisher Meredith has developed a reputation for being approachable and “going the extra mile” for its clients whilst maintaining ethical and socially responsible standards.
Our Children’s Law Department is one of the largest in the UK and our solicitors have a wide range of experience concerning Children’s Law cases. Our solicitors frequently represent clients on SGO applications and many are accredited by the Law Society’s Children’s Panel.
When applying for a SGO, there may be specific challenges that need to be made over financial and support packages through Judicial Review proceedings. Fisher Meredith is one of the few law firms in London that has a specialist team dedicated to this area that works alongside our Children’s Law Department.
What should I do now?
If you want to discuss whether a Special Guardianship Order is right for you, or wish to obtain more information about the application process, our Children’s Law solicitors will provide you with quality advice to achieve the best possible outcome.
For initial advice or to arrange a meeting with one of our solicitors, please contact our helpline on 0800 014 7445.