Special guardianship orders
3. Apply for special guardianship
A special guardian must be over 18 years of age and must not be a parent of the child. An application can be made by one person or joint applicants.
You can apply to be a special guardian if you are:
- a guardian of the child
- a local authority foster carer with whom the child has lived for one year immediately before applying
- a relative with whom the child has lived for a period of at least one year immediately before the application
- anyone who is named in a residence or child arrangements order as a person with whom the child is to live, or has the consent of all those in whose favour such a residence or child
- arrangements order is in force
- anyone with whom the child has lived for three out of the last five years
- where the child is in the care of the local authority, anyone with the consent of the local authority
- anyone who has the consent of all those with parental responsibility
- any person who has the leave of the court to apply
Before you apply
You must inform the local authority of your intention to apply for a Special Guardianship Order in writing at least three months before you submit your application to court. This will give them time to complete your assessment report and support plan. Once these have been completed, the social worker will share them with you. The court will need the assessment and support plan in order to make a decision.
If they decide to, the court may also make a special guardianship order in family proceedings concerning the welfare of a child. A special guardianship order can be made where no application has been made, and includes adoption proceedings.