I am being assessed for a Special Guardianship order
  • I am being
  • assessed for a
  • Special
  • Guardianship
  • Order

I am a being assessed for a Special Guardianship Order

The process

Pre-screening assessment:

In some situations, a social worker from the Family Connections Service may come to visit you to complete a pre-screening assessment. This is a short assessment completed during one visit, so that they can gather some basic information from you. This is a two-way process so that they can explain the assessment process to you in more detail but also to see whether there are any barriers to them recommending you for a full assessment.

Assessment

Once you have been referred to the Family Connections Service, a social worker will arrange an initial visit with you. We will also ask you to complete a personal information form (PIF), this allows us to carry out and gather the necessary checks and references during assessment process.

You will be allocated a social worker from the Family Connections Service, who will meet with you regularly over a period of 12 weeks to conduct the assessment. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure your home and family is the safest place for the child to be.

You will have support from your assessing social worker and access to our Special Guardian preparation training, which covers the essential things you need to know about being a Special Guardian.

During the assessment, if the assessment finds a Special Guardianship Order (SGO) is not the right course of action, then the assessment will conclude. The assessing social worker will explain the reasons and discuss the next steps with you.

The assessment will include a recommendation on whether a Special Guardianship Order is suitable, this is used by the court to decide where the child will live in the future.

Court

The completed assessment will be used by the Family Court to decide where the child should live, you will get to see a copy of the final report.

SGO awarded

You are now the child's legal guardian, until they reach the age of 18. You will have a support plan that details what support you need, and you will also have access to post-SGO support from the Family Connections Service.

Support plans

A support plan is a document that sets out the support needs of the child, as well as you as their Special Guardian.

It should include all current and predicted support needs for the child and their Special Guardians and outline how these will be managed.

A support plan should include specific details about family time, any financial support needs, therapeutic needs, Adoption Support Fund eligibility and so on.

A support plan should be completed following the assessment, and prior to the Special Guardian receiving legal advice.

Financial support

You may be eligible to receive financial support from Hampshire County Council, this is paid as a regular allowance to cover the costs of looking after the child.

  • If the child was previously in the care of Hampshire County Council, we will conduct a financial assessment to determine the appropriate financial support.
  • If the child was not previously in the care of Hampshire County Council, you have the right to request an assessment. Your Social Worker will discuss this with you as part of the assessment.