The Ministry of Justice has recently announced that from 1st May 2023, there will be an extension to those applying for a Special Guardianship Order, this includes family friends, foster carers and extended family members, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles.
This comes from a £6 million investment by the Government that will assist those implementing applications, providing legal advice and representation throughout private Court Proceedings which will see children placed in a loving homes until they reach the age of 18.
Justice Minister Lord Bellamy said:
“Providing a stable, loving home for a vulnerable child in need is an utterly selfless act and it is right we provide families with the vital support they need – particularly in the most complex and emotive of cases.
We are investing millions of pounds every year to make sure criminal and civil legal aid support can reach those who need it most.”
The funding will also support parents opposing Special Guardianship Orders in private proceedings, providing them with free support, advice and legal representation.
Up until recently, Legal Aid for Special Guardianship Orders were only available for cases that involved the Local Authority removing a child from their birth parents. Now, those who are positively assessed by the Local Authority can be supported with funding privately. Due to this coming into effect from May 2023, Local Authority involvement is no longer required for assistance within obtaining private Special Guardianship Orders.
Our team of advisors are able to offer guidance throughout the Court Procedure, assist you applying for an application for funding, offer advice throughout the Court Process and legal representation.
Please contact the family department for further information on 024 7668 4928