Special Guardianship in Practice

J Wade, J Dixon, A Richards

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The Adoption and Children Act 2002 introduced an important new permanence option for children, from early 2006, in the form of special guardianship. Special guardianship was intended to meet the needs of particular groups of children for whom adoption was not considered feasible or desirable. Four years on, the numbers of special guardianship applications have risen steadily and look set to increase. But how is special guardianship working out in practice?

Special Guardianship in Practice, describes these new provisions and provides a critical assessment of the implementation of special guardianship in eight local authority areas. This pioneering study examines how local authorities have responded to special guardianship and considers the policy and practice implications that have arisen in the first few years of implementation. It describes how it is being used through an analysis of the characteristics, circumstances and motivations of those applying and of the children concerned.

This book identifies some of the key challenges that have arisen, assesses take-up, describes the experiences of carers and children, and considers what may need to happen to make special guardianship work successfully for families.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)978 1 905664 993
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • social work issues
  • looked after children

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