View Safeguarding Procedures View Safeguarding Procedures

4.3.10 Progression to Special Guardianship - Process Guidance for Social Workers and Supervising Social Workers

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This guidance covers progression from an established Foster Placement/Kinship Care placement, to a plan for Special Guardianship.

This chapter was added to the manual in June 2015.

This chapter is currently under review.


Contents

  1. Process

    Appendix 1: Permanency Planning Matching and Support Report

    Appendix 2: List of Solicitors who are Members of the Children’s Panel

    Appendix 3: Notification of Wish to become Special Guardian/s


1. Process

  1. Child’s social worker to have supervision with team manager regarding appropriateness of special guardianship;
  2. For LCC and kinship carers: Child’s social worker and supervising social worker to meet with carer/s to discuss special guardianship. Carer/s to be provided with the ‘Special Guardianship’ booklet and the following additional guidance sheets: ‘General information for Foster Carers considering Special Guardianship’, ‘Welfare Benefits and Income Tax Information’ and, if the child is aged ten years or approaching ten years, ‘Leaving Care Information and Support’. (These can be obtained from the Kinship Care Team). If the situation is complex and further advice is required, a special guardianship visit can be requested by emailing ‘CHS Special Guardianship’.

    For Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) carers: social worker to email ‘CHS Special Guardianship’ to request a joint special guardianship visit;
  3. Child’s social worker to feedback to Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO);
  4. If carers wish to proceed, child’s social worker and supervising social worker to meet with carer/s to draw up proposed special guardianship support plan. Social worker or supervising social worker to refer carers to the Welfare Rights Unit for benefits advice by telephoning: 0113 3760452 or emailing: Welfare.Rights@Leeds.gov.uk;
  5. Child’s social worker and supervising social worker to attend Permanency Panel to present the proposed plan for special guardianship. The following paperwork is to be submitted:
  6. If plan for special guardianship is agreed, a letter is sent from Permanency Panel admin to prospective special guardians to inform them of Permanency Panel decisions and the special guardianship support package offer. This letter is signed by the Chair of Permanency Panel. The letter also advises prospective special guardians to seek independent legal advice, if they wish, and then to complete ‘notification of wish to become special guardians’ if they wish to proceed. Enclosed with the letter is:
  1. Child’s Looked After Review held – confirm decision to change Care Plan;
  2. Special guardianship admin officer to inform child’s social worker of receipt of the carer’s ‘Notification’. Also to send information to the social worker and supervising social worker regarding the various paperwork/checks required;
  3. Child’s social worker to make appointment with LCC Legal to provide a Statement supporting the application for discharge of the Care Order. Child’s social worker to ensure all paperwork required for the application is completed by the date agreed with Legal. Paperwork required:
    • Updated Child & Family Assessment (completed within last year);
    • Last two Looked After Review records and decisions;
    • Regulation 21 report (completed jointly between social worker and supervising social worker – please email ‘CHS Special Guardianship if there are any issues pertaining to IFAs);
    • Permanency Planning Matching and Support Report (Appendix 1: Permanency Planning Matching and Support Report).
  4. Child’s social worker to upload final completed copy of Regulation 21 report and Permanency Planning Matching and Support Report to Framework i;
  5. If Court grant an SGO, child’s social worker to:
    • Amend the child’s legal status on Framework i;
    • Inform the special guardianship admin officer via emailing ‘CHS Special Guardianship’;
    • Complete a ‘Grant Form’ on Framework i specifying the agreed financial support (as per the Permanency Panel minutes and letter) and task this to the Child Carer Payments Team; 
    • Remind carers to apply for child benefit and child tax credits immediately;
    • Upload a copy of the Special Guardianship Order to Framework i.
  6. Special guardianship admin officer to write to the special guardians, confirming that the special guardianship process has been completed and detailing the financial support to be provided.


Appendices

Appendix 1: Permanency Planning Matching and Support Report

Appendix 2: List of Solicitors who are Members of the Children’s Panel

Appendix 3: Notification of Wish to become Special Guardian/s

End