Special Guardians continue to get a raw deal

Special Guardians continue to get a raw deal

This post was updated 14.3.2021

Special Guardians are often not receiving the support they need. This story caught my attention as it continues to highlight the lack of resources available to those Special Guardians who are trying to raise children within their family.

Special  Guardianship carers are often grandparents, aunts, uncles ordinary people doing extraordinary things. They are often given a raw deal when it comes to support available to them. They are left to get on with the caring and no one seems to care about them.

The Ombusdman found a  local authority had undermined these Special Guardians. The sad thing was this was not the first time the Special Guardian carers had cause for complaint.

It was only when they made the second complaint that the local authority started to take heed, well for the moment anyway.

What were the Special Guardians complaining about

  • lack of appropriate support


The article discusses how the local authority failed to implement the recommendations made with regard to the Special Guardianship Support Plan.

When a Special Guardianship Order is granted, the local authority is duty-bound to prepare a Support Plan setting out how it will implement the needs of the child and the Special Guardians.

For many, local authorities not a lot of weight is given to the support plan. It is just one more piece of paper they need to complete. What they fail to recognise is that the SGO support plan is a live document that follows the child throughout until they are 18 years of age.

The SGO support plan should not only address the finances, but it should also also address the child’s education, health needs, identity, family relationships and most importantly how contact will be supported.

Local Authorities have a duty to review these SGO support plans on an annual basis, or when there has been any significant change to the circumstances in the family.


In brief this is what the Community Care article states:-

A council ‘reneged on an agreement’ with the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman by failing to implement in full the watchdog’s recommended changes in support for two vulnerable siblings in a special guardianship placement.

The ombudsman said Lancashire council had undermined the trust of the special guardians after they had to make a second complaint about the authority’s failure to provide appropriate support for their nephew and niece, because agreed changes from the ombudsman’s first investigation had not been actioned.

Issuing a second report within two years on the case, both of which found the council at fault for causing injustice, the ombudsman, Michael King, said: “It is extremely disappointing that the council failed to implement all our previous recommendations within a reasonable period of time and, in that failure, reneged on an agreement with us.

“This undermines the complainant’s trust in the council and calls into question [its] willingness to accept fault and put it right.

Special Guardianship Info –  Giving SGO a Voice
Special Guardianship Info –  Giving SGO a Voice