West Berkshire Council

Special Guardianship

Can you make a long term commitment to the life of a child?

Special Guardianship is an opportunity to provide much needed long-term stability for children who cannot be returned to live with their family.

Special Guardians will usually seek to share parental responsibility with the child's natural parents, but they have the power to make major decisions about everyday care and upbringing without their agreement, if necessary

Special guardianship is an option for:

  • Relatives or foster carers who can offer long-term care for children in care, who do not want to be adopted, and need to retain links with their birth families
  • Older children and young people who cannot live at home, but do not want to be adopted
  • Children being looked after by extended family or friends who need to be able to make decisions about the child's upbringing
  • Community groups where the long-term care of other people's children is encouraged but adoption is contrary to religious or cultural belief