Frequently Asked Questions

Becoming a Special Guardian is life changing, and there are so many questions you may have once the Order is made. This section provides answers to some basic questions that will help you, your family and your child. You may have just become a Special Guardian or have been one for years, but as your children grow their needs change and we hope we have answers that are relevant to you.

If you have any questions that are not listed below, please contact a support social worker from your borough who will be able to help.

What is a Special Guardianship Order (SGO)?

A Special Guardianship Order is a legal order made by a Court giving permission for one or more people to look after and care for a child (or children) who cannot live with their birth parents, and who would benefit from a legally secure placement. It allows the child to remain within his or her extended family, with someone who has cared for them, like a friend or foster carer. Unlike adoption, it does not end the legal relationship between the child and their birth family. Special Guardianship was introduced in 2005 in England and Wales. 

What are the benefits of Special Guardianship to the child?

SGO means the child has a secure long term placement and means they are no longer in the care system. Children, who were in the care of a local authority before the Order was granted, may also qualify for advice and assistance in health and education. Contact your borough social worker for more information. 

We are grandparent Special Guardians, is there a website where we can seek support from other grandparents like us?

Yes, Grandparents Plus is a national charity which champions the vital role of grandparents, especially when they become Special Guardians. Visit 

Since becoming a Special Guardian, I have felt isolated and alone, where can I speak with other Special Guardians?

We meet regularly in different Consortium boroughs to talk and support each other. The sessions are relaxed, informal, confidential and the perfect opportunity to meet other special guardians. Social workers and experts are there if we need them. Contact your support social worker or visit our Events page for details. 

My daughter's birth mother has not attended contact. This is upsetting for my daughter. Is there help available to resolve this?

Yes, you should contact the support team in your borough. They will be able to look into why there are issues around contact for birth mum and help support you and your daughter in managing this difficult time.