Reform special guardianship to protect and support children and their carers

A new research review shows that SGOs provide children with a safe, permanent home with family members when the court decides they cannot live with their birth parents.

But local authorities and the courts face major challenges in providing special guardians with adequate preparation and support for the long-term consequences of this life-changing responsibility, leading to avoidable and significant stress that is potentially damaging to children’s futures.

The review was commissioned by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory in response to the Court of Appeal’s call for authoritative, evidence-based guidance for the use of SGOs.  It was led by Dr John Simmonds from CoramBAAF and Professor Judith Harwin from Lancaster University.

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