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Nigel Priestley invited to address a major conference on Special Guardianship Orders

by in GLC posted .

Nigel Priestley, Senior Partner at Ridley and Hall has been invited to address a major conference organised by Community Care magazine and supported bythe Grandparents Association.

The Conference is “Special Guardianship Orders -Navigating local authority duties and best practice.” It is to be held on
23rd February 2011, at Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1HT

Five years after the implementation of Special Guardianship Orders very little is known about how they work in practice. Local authorities have struggled to interpret guidance and there are wide-ranging approaches to practice nationally.

Commonly professionals who work with special guardianship orders have concerns that:
• their authority may not be legally compliant with funding allowances provided to special guardians
• special guardianship orders are increasing being awarded to children who are much younger than original guidance had intended with no indication of what long-term outcomes and implications might be
• preparation time for court reports leaves little time for preparing the special guardian for what could be a long-term caring commitment
• support provisions for special guardians may be inadequate to mitigate against contentious contact issues with birth parents

The aim of the conference is to explore a local authority’s legal duties and to  share best practice approaches to effectively support special guardians.

Key themes to be covered will include:
• How do local authorities determine reasonable levels of financial allowances for special guardians and what role do universal benefits play in establishing these?
• Local authority legal responsibilities and court processes explained
• Research findings from an exploratory study on the implementation of special guardianship orders
• A review of new practice guidance
• Providing successful assessment and support of family and friends carers
• Managing safeguarding and parental contact issues

For more information: www.communitycareconferences.co.uk/guardianship2011



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