Special Guardianship (SGO) consultation

Consultation on the proposed revision to Council policy for Special Guardianship (SGO) and to incorporate Child Arrangement Orders (CAO)


What are we consulting on?

Outcome

Revisions were put forward on the current policy in March 2017 to bring it up to date whilst ensuring that the challenging financial situation facing the Council is also considered. This was then approved for consultation at Cabinet in May.

In line with the Looked After Children and Care Leavers Strategy 2014-17, the policy will also support the Council, with statutory partners, to meet its legislative responsibilities around meeting the needs of looked after children through securing safe and suitable permanence options for them (Care Planning, Placement & Review Regulations 2010).

The key messages for the consultation include:

  • Revising our policy to align allowance payments to extended family members and other suitable applicants of children needing long term care.
  • Revising our policy to ensure that support for permanence options for children are fairly and equitably considered.

Rationale

Given current economic pressures and the increasing demands on considering permanence for children through SGO and CAO, it is important for the Council to align its policy. Any support, including financially, has to be based on assessed needs and reviewed regularly in order to make it sustainable.

Benefits

The revised policy will ensure that anyone who is considering becoming a Special Guardian or undertaking a CAO will have clear information around entitlement, assessment and decision making processes.

Children & Young People, cared for under SGO or CAO will benefit from the added safeguards set out in the revised DfE statutory guidance that informs the assessment and review of carers.

The revised policy, if accepted, will assist the Council in meeting its duty to assess and support those entitled to be assessed in line with the Children Act 1989 and subsequent guidance such as Special Guardianship Guidance 2017.

The policy will also support the Council, with statutory partners, to meet its legislative responsibilities around meeting the needs of looked after children through securing safe and suitable permanence options for them.

Who are we consulting with?

We are seeking the views of anyone who may have an interest in Children's Social Care, particularly those who already look after children and young people through SGO or CAO, those who are considering such an arrangement, staff who currently work in Children's Social Care, and partners who work in related services.

How can I give my views?

You can look at the proposed revised policy and can give us your feedback by completing the online consultation and return to acritchell@wakefield.gov.uk

If you would rather respond in writing there are copies of the consultation at the Children First Hubs across the District. These can either be left with a member of the hub team or you can post your feedback to;

Wakefield Council
SGO/CAO Consultation
County Hall
Bond Street
WF1 2QW
The consultation will run until 27 October 2017.

What will happen after the consultation?

At the end of the consultation the Councillor for Children's Services will consider all responses and decide whether to amend the policy, and to what extent, as a result.

If accepted the Director of Children's Services will amend all procedure documents relating to this policy as the need arises. 

Thank You, we look forward to receiving your feedback.