Special guardianship offers a legal way of ensuring a safe and stable environment for a child whilst maintaining certain links to their parents, as an alternative to fostering or adoption.
Who can become a special guardian?
A special guardian takes legal responsibility for the child's welfare, taking responsibility for all decisions about the child's upbringing. You can apply to be a special guardian if you are over 18 years old and fall into at least one of the following categories:
- You are the child’s guardian.
- You have consent from everyone with parental responsibility for the child.
- The child has lived with you for three of the last five years.
- You are a foster carer and the child has lived with you for a year immediately before the application.
- You have a residence order relating to the child, or consent of everyone a residence order relates to.
- You have local authority consent if the child is in local authority care.
- You have the court’s permission to apply.
Contact us if you are already caring for a child, either as foster carers or under private family arrangements, and want to gain parental responsibility for them, or would like more information on special guardianship.
Are you a special guardian?
For those residents who are already special guardians, the team can provide support for you. If you are a special guardian within the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, please let us know if you would like to meet other special guardians locally or have any concerns as we are available to offer support and advice.
Contact the special guardianship social worker if you need any further information:
Phone: 020 8831 6064