Special guardianship orders
6. Financial support
Local authorities must consider, assess and monitor financial support provided. The local authority may provide financial support in specified circumstances. These are broadly where financial support is necessary to:
- ensure that the guardian or prospective guardian can continue to look after the child
- meet legal fees
- meet special care needs
This is so that financial barriers are not the sole reason why a special guardianship arrangement is not successful or cannot proceed.
The financial support paid to a special guardian must not duplicate support that may be available from the benefit and tax system. You will be expected to apply for all eligible benefits. We can refer you to a benefits advisor if you need help with this.
How financial support is provided
Financial support may be:
- a single lump sum to meet a specific assessed need
- a series of lump sum payments to meet a specific assessed need
- a periodic or regular payment at agreed intervals to meet a specific ongoing assessed need
Review of financial support
The local authority must review the financial support it’s providing at least once a year, or sooner if there is a change in circumstances.
About six weeks before your annual financial review is scheduled, you will receive two letters. One will request you complete a Declaration of Finance form, and one will tell you what documents are needed to complete a financial review.
Once the finance department have received your documents they can calculate whether or not you will continue to receive an allowance. This is a means tested assessment, so your support may increase or decrease dependent on your income.
The Permanence Team will complete the necessary documents to authorise your allowance once they receive the completed financial assessment.
If you don’t want a means tested financial review
If you don’t want a financial means assessment then you don’t need to provide any details of your finances. However, you would not be able to receive financial support.
If you change your mind you can request an assessment of needs at any time.