Special Guardianship – what checks are needed?
Special Guardianship assessment
To ensure a person is suitable to be a Special Guardian they will need to be assessed. The Special Guardianship assessment is similar to that of the parenting assessment and will determine if you have the capacity to meet the long term needs of the child and keep them safe. The assessment is undertaken by either a social worker from the Special Guardianship team or an independent social worker.
You will be provided with a medical form which will need to be taken to the GP who will undertake the medical. The GP will then send back the medical assessment to Children’s Services. (Medicals are at a cost of £73.86 per person in 2017.)
Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks
The form will be completed with the help of the allocated social worker and you will need to provide proof of identify. You will not be charged for DBS costs.
You will need to provide details of at least three people who have known you for a substantial length of time and who are willing to give you a character reference. This may be your church minister, family member or friend. It is preferred that one reference is from a professional person, but it is not essential.
Once the Special Guardianship assessment is completed it will be sent to the court along with all other information, assessments, reports and statements. The court/ judge will read and listen to all the evidence presented, and after taking into consideration the wishes and feelings of the child/children will make a final decision.
When a Special Guardianship Order is granted the child will then be placed with the Special Guardianship family, (if not living there already). The child no longer requires a social worker as their needs will be met within the placement. However as the Special Guardian you will receive an Special Guardianship support package from the local authority.
If the Special Guardianship family live out of the Local Authority area, three years after the Special Guardianship Order has been granted it will be the responsibility of the Local Authority in which they reside to provide ongoing support although any financial allowance and contact support will remain the responsibility of the placing authority.