The Department of Health and Social Care today laid before Tynwald the Appointed Day Order for the Children and Young Persons (Amendment) Act 2011 and sought approval for the Special Guardianship Regulations 2014.
The Children and Young Persons (Amendment) Act 2011, a Private Members Bill brought forward by David Quirk MHK, introduces a further legal option for children who cannot be looked after by their parents – Special Guardianship Orders.
Special Guardianship Orders:
- give the carer clear responsibility for all aspects of caring for the child and for taking the decisions to do with their upbringing;
- provide a firm foundation on which to build a lifelong permanent relationship between the child and their carer;
- are legally secure;
- preserve the basic link between the child and their birth family; and
- are accompanied by access to a range of support services including, where appropriate, financial support.
The Regulations are required to set out further information in relation to Special Guardianship and detail:
- who may apply for a special guardianship order;
- the circumstances in which a special guardianship order may be made;
- the nature and effect of special guardianship orders; and
- access to financial support and support services for those affected by special guardianship.
The Regulations will come into operation from 1st May 2014.
Minister for Health and Social Care, Hon Howard Quayle MHK, said: ”The vast majority of our Island’s children receive safe and effective care with their parents. But in some cases children are unable to live with their parents and the Government needs to become involved in their care. Currently those children will be looked after in either long-term fostering or be adopted, but there are circumstances where sometimes neither of these options is appropriate.
“Special Guardianship introduces an alternative for the Department that offers greater security for children than long-term fostering but without the absolute legal severance from the birth family that stems from an adoption order.”