Kinship Care and Special Guardianship What is a kinship carer? A kinship carer can be identified as anyone, outside of fostering and adoption, who is looking after a child that is not their own by birth. This may be a family member, or someone else who is in some way connected to the child. What is a Special Guardian? A Special Guardian is a type of kinship carer. A Special Guardianship Order (SGO) is a legal order where the court appoints the carer as the ‘Special Guardian’ of a child until they turn 18. There are approximately 180,000 children in the UK that are currently being raised in kinship care arrangements. Most Special Guardians are grandparents, but many other relatives including older siblings, aunts, uncles, as well as family friends and neighbors can also obtain an SGO. The Special Guardian shares parental responsibility for the child with the parents and can make nearly all the major decisions about the child without having to consult parents. In the UK, the number of Special Guardianship arrangements is growing year on year, and there are now more Special Guardianship Orders being made than there are Adoption Orders. Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Offer to Kinship Carers Redcar & Cleveland Council are committed to providing a package of support to meet the needs of kinship carers and the children in their care. The SGO Team are responsible for providing support & information to carers who are thinking about applying for an SGO, and to families that already have an SGO in place. Other types of kinship carers can also access support from the SGO Team via a dedicated advice line, and access to groups and activities. Direct work with children and young people The SGO Team are available to work directly with any child or young person who has an SGO in place. Intervention can come in the form of 1-1 emotional support work, or outreach for children and young people. The SGO Team can also offer access to specialist therapeutic support services. Therapeutic Parenting Programmes The SGO Team plans and provides independent therapeutic parenting programmes for all kinship carers within Redcar and Cleveland. Programmes are free of charge and are specifically designed for kinship carers who are looking after children and young people that have difficulties with relationships and attachment. Kinship Care Support Group The SGO Team have developed a peer-led support group that is available to all kinship carers. The group takes place fortnightly at 25K Youth Centre in Redcar. The group is designed to enable kinship carers to come together to share information and support in a safe and friendly environment. Events and activities The SGO Team plan and facilitate many fun events and activities for children in kinship care arrangements throughout the year. In the past, events have involved day trips to regional attractions, discos and parties, and access to local leisure activities. Get in Touch The SGO Team can be contacted via telephone, email, or post using the information below. Telephone 01642 444121 (Monday – Friday 8:30- 17:00) E-mail SGOTeam@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk Address Seafield House Kirkleatham Street Redcar Cleveland TS10 1SP If you wish to make a referral to the SGO Team, please call or email for more information.