If you are looking after a child who is not yours, or your child is being looked after by a third party i.e a family member or a foster carer, an application can be made to the Court for a Special Guardianship Order (SGO)
SGO are made when the Court consider that a child cannot be cared for by their parents and are to remain with the Special Guardians for the remainder of their childhood.
Once made, the SGO gives Parental Responsibility (PR) to the Special Guardians, allowing day to day decisions for the child to be made. Unlike Adoption, an SGO does not remove PR from parents but does allow the Special Guardians to make welfare decisions for the child, even if at times this may conflict with the wishes of the parents.
An application for an SGO can be made directly to the Court by private individuals, or can be made alongside Care and Supervision proceedings.