Since its addition to the canon of orders that are available to the Family Court in 2005, the role of a Special Guardianship Order has changed and developed. It is plain that SGO’s have a useful role to play, and are the right order to make in the right case; but which are the ‘right’ cases, how are professionals and the courts to spot them and how can the system best support any special guardians who are appointed?
For a considerable time those working in Family Justice have called for consistent and clear practice guidance on SGO’s. Now, through the work of the Public Law Working Group, the Family Justice Council and others, comprehensive and authoritative guidance has been produced. I am immensely appreciative of the work that I know has been done by many over the past year to produce this guidance and I have no hesitation in publishing it now with my complete endorsement.
This text is what many professionals in the system have been waiting for; the practice guidance should now be applied and used in every case where a SGO is an option in the hope that, as the authors say, it will improve the outcome for children and special guardians.
Sir Andrew McFarlane
President of the Family Division