Research and analysis

Special guardianship: qualitative case file analysis

Report looking at the findings from an analysis of local authority case files containing special guardianship orders.



Research into the effect of the 26-week time limit for standard care cases and court judgements on the use of special guardianship.

A special guardianship order is an order appointing 1 or more individuals to be a child’s ‘special guardian’. It is a private law order made under the Children Act 1989, intended for children who:

  • cannot live with their birth parents
  • would benefit from a legally secure placement