Special guardianship

Apply to legally take parental responsibility for a child you look after

Support for special guardians

Our support team is a voluntary countywide team providing support to special guardians, children, young people and parents subject to special guardianship orders in Essex.  We're here to to offer guidance, advice, and support throughout your special guardianship journey. 

To access this service all parties must individually give consent. 

Our duty coordinator will contact you as soon as we have been informed that a special guardianship order was granted with your agreement. 

From our experience in supporting special guardian families, we know that the first year can be quite an adjustment, so we have follow up phone calls every 3 months within the first year to check in and to offer our guidance and support if needed.  

To sign up to our events mailing list and monthly newsletter, email sgo.support@essex.gov.uk.

Read our April 2024 newsletter (PDF, 377.12 KB).

We also offer the following:

Information, advice and guidance

  • advice and guidance on welfare benefits (disability living allowance, PIP)
  • grants and bursaries
  • form completion (wills, passports)
  • copies of court orders
  • letters of support (housing, school applications)
  • financial support (assessment needed)
  • attending and supporting you at meetings (Team Around the Family, One Plan reviews, EHCP reviews and other social work interventions)
  • information sharing with social workers and other third parties such as schools, health services, police
  • referrals to relevant services

Therapeutic intervention

  • psychotherapy for the child
  • specialist assessments
  • creative therapy involving the parent and the child
  • creative or physical therapies involving the child only
  • therapeutic parenting
  • family therapy
  • therapeutic life story work  
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) 

Activities and events

  • monthly newsletter
  • monthly coffee mornings
  • summer activities
  • forums
  • linking you with other services (leaving care and other universal services)
  • workshops and training
  • conferences
Special guardians support team

Special guardianship order support team
Essex County Council
County Hall
United Kingdom

Office hours:
Monday - Thursday9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Friday9:00 am - 4:30 pm