Coronavirus (COVID-19): children, young people and families


We continue to update the guidance on managing direct payments during the pandemic.

This is for those who:

  • manage their own direct payments
  • have support from Purple, the company we currently use, to manage their direct payments
  • manage direct payments on behalf of someone else

Read the Covid-19: direct payments for children frequently asked questions (PDF, 352.14kB).

Special Guardianship

Apply to be a Special Guardian

Who can apply

You can apply if:

  • you are the child's guardian
  • you are a relative and the child has lived with you for at least the last year before applying
  • you are a foster carer with us and the child has lived with you for at least the last year before applying
  • the child has lived with you for at least 3 years in the last 5, including the last 3 months before applying
  • you have a Residence Order for the child, or all those with a Residence Order agree you can apply
  • the child is in the care of a local authority and they agree you can apply
  • the court agrees you can apply

You must be over 18.

You can apply on your own or as a couple, whether you are married or in a civil partnership or not.

The child’s birth parents cannot apply.

How to apply

If the child is in our care, ask the child's social worker about applying.

If the child isn't in local authority care and there's no social care involvement you will have to make a Private Law Application. Contact us for more information.

If you're thinking about applying, you must contact us at least 12 weeks before applying to the court.

Contact the Assessment Team

To find out more about Special Guardianship Orders and the assessment process, contact Special Guardianship Order and Connected Person Assessment Team.

Email: SGO.ConnectedPerson@essex.gov.uk
Phone: 03330 322 947

If the child is in the care of a different local authority, like Southend or Thurrock, you should contact them about applying.

More information

GOV.UK has more information about applying to be a special guardian.

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