Special Guardianship Order – Rate Amendment

Closed 10 Aug 2016

Opened 30 Jun 2016

Results expected 22 Sep 2016

Feedback Updated 30 Jan 2017

We Asked

We asked your views on a proposal to amend the special guardianship allowance rates and align Barnet’s offering to the recommended minimum established by the Department for Education. This proposal would impact both existing and new special guardianship allowances. 

You Said

During the consultation period, we received approximately 52 responses, predominantly from Barnet special guardians and family members which reflected a negative view to the proposal. While each individual’s circumstances are different, there were some common comments and questions raised on the sufficiency and determination of current financial support.

We Did

We contacted you to clarify the council’s position on some key issues you raised such as the sufficiency of the support to meet the child’s needs, the role of the Court, and the requirement for annual financial reviews. The council is currently considering the feedback and will present a final proposal to the Children, Education, Libraries, and Safeguarding Committee in November 2016

Overview

We know that Barnet is a great place to live for most families, children and young people. Our vision is focused on making Barnet an even better place to live for all families - whether a couple with dependent children, a single-parent family, a foster family, a blended family or a family with special guardians to children in care.

We have chosen a theme of resilience to drive our ambition for strong communities in which children can thrive and achieve. Resilience is used to describe a situation when good outcomes occur for individuals or families in the face of adversity.

Barnet is committed to enhancing resilience for children who are no longer able to live with their birth family through appropriate and secure permanent placement options such as special guardianship. This commitment is in line with Barnet’s Corporate Priority of building resilient communities in which children can thrive and achieve, and guided by the Corporate Plan principles of fairness, responsibility and opportunity.

What are we proposing?

Barnet Council is committed to ensuring the appropriate and secure permanent placement for children who are no longer able to live within their birth family. Special Guardianship Orders are a permanent legal arrangement, but unlike adoption, the Order does not necessarily sever the child’s ties with their birth parents.

Some special guardians are eligible for financial support from Barnet Council; the level of support is dependent on their financial situation and the age of the child. We are consulting on a proposal to amend the financial allowance rate provided to eligible special guardians. The proposal seeks to align the financial allowance rate with the minimum fostering allowance rates set by the Department for Education (DfE) from October 2016.

You can read more information on our proposals in our factsheet here.

We will be contacting all affected parties to inform them of the proposed changes, how it will impact them, and also how they can provide their feedback.  

Why We Are Consulting

We are keen to hear everyone’s views on the proposal to fully understand its impact; your views are important to us and will help us make the right decisions.

During this six week period, there will be opportunities for affected parties and the general public to provide feedback and engage in discussions about the proposed changes. 

What Happens Next

The consultation has now closed.

We would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation, without whose valuable input the consultation would not have been possible.   

You can see how we have acted on the results so far under 'We asked, You said, We did'.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Voluntary groups/organisations
  • Carers

Interests

  • Children and young people