Special Guardianship: What Does It Offer Children Who Cannot Live With Their Parents?

 Edited by Leonie Jordan and Bridget Lindley,
 Family Rights Group
 ISBN 1871515424,


Special guardianship is being much talked about in reviews and in court proceedings. Unfortunately there often appears to be a lack of clarity and information about precisely what it is and what the implications might be for children and carers, writes Robert Tapsfield.

This very readable publication will be invaluable for everyone who is professionally or personally considering special guardianship.

There are useful contributions from the editors who provide a very clear overview of the legal and practice framework. Mr Justice Munby suggests that special  guardianship may have much greater significance in adoption cases than envisaged.

Professor June Thoburn helpfully summarises the research evidence and reminds us that decisions about legal status must follow an analysis about what is right for the child and should not determine it. Fiona Wallace urges local authorities to incorporate special guardianship into their arrangements for supporting family and friends carers, but emphasises that this must be done in a way that ensures families are central to decision-making processes.

It also contains a valuable insight from a family carer, and provides some pointers for future legislative and practice changes with a chapter exploring what we can learn from the experiences of other countries.

Robert Tapsfield is chief executive, Fostering Network

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