Number of special guardianship orders triples over two years

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BBC News has reported that the number of babies being made subject to special guardianship order in England has tripled in the last two years.

A special guardianship order is a long-term alternative to adoption or fostering, and means that the child can be placed with family, friends, or foster parents until they reach the age of majority. They are often used in cases of neglect or abuse.

The BBC’s figures show that in 2012, 160 babies were placed under such orders, whereas by 2014 this figure had risen to 520. The majority of the children were aged four or under.

On the other hand, the number of children being placed for adoption is falling.

There have been some concerns over these figures. Although chief executive of fostering and adoption charity TACT agrees that living with extended family “is a good thing”, he notes that there are some doubts as to whether assessment were detailed enough, saying that some family member may not be close to the child before the process begins. He also noted that the level of post-placement support was not as high as it is following adoption.

Read more on the BBC News website.

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