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Samantha’s story: becoming a special guardian

15 August 2018

Family Action support worker, Samantha discusses her own experience as a prospective special guardian and looks at the difference our Special Guardian Support Service can make.

In my quest to find a new job I stumbled across Family Action’s Special Guardian Support Service website, I then found the vacancy for the support worker position. The role attracted me because not only was I looking for a new position in the field of social care but I also know on a personal level how important and useful this service will be to special guardians. As a prospective special guardian going through the assessment process, I am very aware of the lack of support and guidance available out there.

I’m currently being assessed so that I can care for a child in my immediate family, and until I was approached by the social worker working on the case I wasn’t aware of what a Special Guardianship Order was. There’s a lot of jargon on the internet, and even though I was able to do my own research around what Special Guardianship Orders entail and the processes involved, from assessment to actually taking on the child, I still had unanswered questions.

I quickly found that there was very little in the way of support groups or charities that could answer in-depth and personal concerns and queries, away from the generic questions from local authority websites.

Taking a child into your home until adulthood is a massive responsibility and one that I know personally is a very daunting decision, not to be taken lightly – but it can also be the most rewarding thing a person ever does.

“The Special Guardianship Support Service will play a vital role in avoiding the breakdown of Special Guardianship Orders”

My decision to become a special guardian and my decision to become a support worker for special guardianship orders are the same, I want to make a difference. Growing up as a ‘looked after child’ I know what it’s like living away from your family and the feeling and emotions it unearths. I am also aware of the resilience and strength that is needed by carers and special guardians in order to manage behaviours and emotions as a result of past trauma – which is why supporting these individuals is so important – whether it’s practical or emotional.

The Special Guardianship Support Service will play a vital role in avoiding the breakdown of Special Guardianship Orders and stand in for the lack of support being offered once the order has been granted. I hope all local authorities adopt the service so that all special guardians are able to get the support they need.

If you are a special guardian or professional that would like support, our Special Guardianship Support Service is here for you. Contact us for free on the details below or visit our website for more information.

Opening times:

Monday to Friday 6pm-10pm

Saturday and Sunday 10am-1pm

Free Tel: 0808 802 1111