Clause 110 -Support for Special Guardianship Placements

Part of Adoption and Children Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at on 20 November 2001.

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24. New section 14F of clause 110 makes provision for local authority support services for special guardians and children subject to special guardianship orders. The White Paper Adoption: a new approach made clear that special guardians should have access to the full range of support services, including, where appropriate, financial support, to help the placement succeed. The Government made clear its intention to introduce provisions to this effect when the previous version of the Bill was introduced in March. New section 14F fulfils this commitment.

25. Section 14F places local authorities under a duty to make arrangements to provide support services for special guardianship placements. The support services will include counselling, advice and information, and other services as prescribed in regulations. It is intended that the services prescribed in regulations will include financial support.

26. Regulations will also be made prescribing the circumstances in which local authorities must, at the request of special guardians and children subject to special guardianship orders, carry out an assessment of that person's needs for special guardianship support services. The Government has indicated its intention to consult widely with stakeholders in developing the regulations on support services for special guardianship placements.

27. The provisions on special guardianship support in section 14F are very similar to the provisions in clauses 3 and 4 dealing with adoption support. As with adoption support services, the local authority may carry out an assessment of need at the same time as an assessment of that person's needs for any other purpose. The intention is to facilitate the joined up planning and provision of public services support.