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Considering the case for parity in policy and practice between adoption and special guardianship: findings from a population wide study

Date:8 MAR 2016
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Professor Judith Harwin Dr Melanie Palmer and Dr Stephen Swift Brunel University London
Dr Bachar Alrouh and Professor Karen Broadhurst University of Lancaster

Recent government announcements to amend special guardianship and adoption legislation and increase levels of support provide the context to this article. It reports findings from a two phase national study of supervision orders and special guardianship funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

Using population-wide data from the Cafcass database we report on the volume and trends in the use of special guardianship orders (SGOs) between April 2010 and March 2015 and compare the pattern of use to five other legal permanency options. 

For the first time ever the national data show that there is a near convergence in the percentage of children subject to SGOs and placement orders. The national results also show that use of supervision orders attached to SGOs has more than doubled in just 5 years. However an attached supervision order was less likely to be made for infants.

We conclude that special guardianship now appears to be perceived by courts and local authorities as a valid widely used and important alternative to...

Read the full article here.

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