Special Guardianship Orders - Core Offer to Carers

Special Guardian and young personCaerphilly County Borough Council is committed to ensuring children and young people are supported to achieve their full potential. We know that outcomes for children are more positive when they are cared for within their family networks. Children don’t need to be Looked After and family carers don’t need to be Foster Carers in order to receive the support they need from Children’s Services.

Caerphilly is committed to provide the same levels of support, including financial support, to family members who choose to be Special Guardians. The benefits of a Special Guardianship Order are that the child is not Looked After and Carers have parental responsibility to make routine decisions about the child on an everyday basis.

In respect of financial support, we support Special Guardians to apply for all the relevant benefits for a child or children in their care and we then make an additional payment to top those benefits up to the age relevant National Minimum Allowance level.

Caerphilly Social Services are offering support to people living within the Caerphilly area who are either currently caring for a child or interested in caring for a child under a Special Guardianship Order (SGO)

The special guardianship order service will include:

An allocated worker

The Special Guardian can have access to a social worker/support worker who will offer practical and emotional support and advice. Regular telephone calls and/ or home visits can be undertaken and support will be offered to the special guardian to attend meetings including access to advocacy.

Support groups / peer mentoring support

The Special Guardian can have access to a Special Guardianship support group and peer support from other Special Guardians.

Financial assistance

Special Guardians can request financial support. A financial assessment will be completed by the Income Maximisation Team which will consider the benefit entitlement the Special Guardians may receive. The Special Guardian will receive a top up allowance that ensures the total weekly payment received is equivalent to the National Minimum Fostering Allowance commensurate with the age of the child/young person.

Parenting programmes

The Special Guardian can have access to parenting programmes run by the Local Authority including accessing support through Families First projects.

Direct work with the special guardian

Work on a variety of topics to include the impact of adverse childhood experiences, attachment, therapeutic parenting strategies, managing behaviours etc.

Direct work with the child / young person

Age appropriate direct work on a variety of topics to include wishes and feelings, managing emotions and life story work etc. can be undertaken with a child/ young person who is subject to the Special Guardianship Order.

Direct work with other children/young people within the household

Direct work can be undertaken with other children or young people within the household.

Birth family contact / mediation support

Mediation can be offered to the family e.g. to assist with birth family contact.

Access to psychology support

The family can have access to a Child Psychologist for consultation, advice and support.

Support with court proceedings

Advice and support for the Special Guardian if any applications are made by birth parents.

Signposting / referrals to other agencies

This may include Families First, Flying Start, Housing Support, Benefits Advice services etc. as appropriate.

Support with education

Liaising with schools if the child/ young person is experiencing difficulties within education.

Entitlement to leaving care services

Any young person requiring leaving care services will be supported as necessary to access these services when they turn sixteen years of age.