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Welsh Government consults on SGOs

New code of practice to come into force in July 2018

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on proposed amendments to the Special Guardianship (Wales) Regulations 2005 ('the 2005 Regulations') and a new code of practice on the exercise of local authority functions in relation to special guardianship orders. The amending regulations and code of practice will come into force from 1 July 2018.

The proposed amendments will require that additional matters are considered in the local authority's report to the court about the suitability of the applicants to be special guardians. These will include, for example, details of any harm the child has suffered, and any risk of future harm to the child posed by the child's parents, relatives or any other person the local authority considers relevant, and an assessment of the prospective special guardian's parenting capacity. It is also proposed that a new regulation should specify that the local authority which looked after a child immediately before a special guardianship order was made must continue to meet any identified special guardianship support needs for three years, regardless of where the child is living. It is further proposed that there should be a new requirement in the code of practice that a local authority must make certain specified people (for example, a child in respect of whom a special guardianship order is sought or in respect of whom a court has required a report, or a prospective special guardian) aware of their entitlement to request an assessment for special guardianship support services when an application is made or the court directs the local authority to carry out an assessment of suitability.

The consultation closes on 27 November 2017.

For the consultation document, draft code of practice and amending regulations, click here.