Special Guardianship Orders

A Special Guardianship Order (SGO) is a legal order applied for and granted by the courts that allows you to offer a permanent home to a child without adopting and gives you shared parental responsibility of the child.

You would become an SGO carer and have responsibility for most of the decisions in the child’s upbringing, including where the child lives, goes to school and the medical treatment they receive (claiming any relevant state benefits for the child and means-tested allowances).

If you apply to be an SGO carer you CANNOT:

  • Change the name of the child
  • Leave the country for a period greater than 3 months
  • Adopt the child.

What support can I get?

We work with families to help prevent the breakdown of any placement. This may involve work to help a child understand their background, mediation between birth parents and SGO carers to help the child maintain positive links with family, or helping you find other services that might help you.

We can also offer support to you and your family including:

  • Counselling
  • Advice and information
  • Financial support (if necessary)
  • Support groups
  • Help with contact between child, parents and relatives
  • Training.

Working party meetings take place monthly to help develop services and organise self-funded activities. SGO carers who feel they could help to plan future initiatives which will benefit other carers are welcome to attend.

If you would like further information regarding the support groups, working parties, activities or would like to receive our newsletter, please contact us.

Applying to be an SGO carer

If you are thinking of applying to become an SGO carer, you can collect the relevant papers from Wigan Magistrates Court.

© Wigan Council