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His Honour Judge John Mitchell - Supporting Special Guardianship

Date:28 AUG 2008

His Honour Judge John Mitchell

Special guardianship orders (SGOs) were designed in part to provide a framework of permanency for 'children being cared for on a permanent basis by members of their wider birth family' (Adoption: A New Approach Cm 5017 (TSO 2000). The decision in April 2008 of Black J sitting in the Administrative Court in B v Lewisham London Borough Council [2008] EWHC 738(Admin) [2008] FLR (forthcoming) is the first reported case concerning the support which can and should be provided to special guardians (SGs) under s 14F of the Children Act 1989. It was delivered at an opportune time because two recent research studies J Hunt S Waterhouse and E Lutman Keeping Them in the Family: Outcomes for Abused and Neglected Children Placed with Family or Friends Carers through Care Proceedings (BAAF 2008) (see [2008] Fam Law 435) and A Hall Special Guardianship: a Missed Opportunity: Findings from Research [2008] Fam Law 148 draw attention to carers' needs for financial and other support.

There is little doubt that carers need more support than formerly offered. Hunt...

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