Special Guardianship Orders are to be brought in for family situations where children are unable to live with their birth parents and are therefore being looked after by other relatives.
It is in place to provide the relative with a more permanent role in the child’s life than is given by a Child Arrangements Order and will still maintain a link between the child and their birth parents.
A Special Guardianship can only be appointed by a Court and can only do so once receiving a report from a local authority who need to be given notice 3 months prior to the application.
A Special Guardianship will allow you the parental responsibility for the child and are therefore entitled to exercise that parental responsibility to the exclusion of any person with parental responsibility for example the child’s mother or father.
It also provides a clear foundation in which to build a permanent relationship with the child and allows access to a range of support services, including financial support in some cases.
However, without the permission of the court your parental responsibilities are limited in that you cannot change the child’s name and the child is not allowed to be removed from the UK for a period of more than 3 months at a time without the consent of the court or others with parental responsibility.
Unless the courts intervene to decide otherwise, the Parental Responsibility will last until the child is 18 years old and will allow you access to make day to day decisions about the child’s upbringing.