At present, local authority foster carers, who have had the child living with them for one year immediately preceding the application, are entitled to apply for a residence order without the leave of the court. Relative carers are only able to do so with the leave of the court, unless:
They are local authority foster carers who have had the child living with them for one year immediately preceding the application (who are subject to child protection checks)
- Have had the child living with them for three out of the last five years; or
- Have the consent of every one with parental responsibility for the child
- Entitling all relative carers to apply for a residence order and special guardianship orders under the 1989 Act if the child has lived with him/her for a period of at least one year immediately preceding the application; and
- Raising the age at which a residence order automatically ends from 16 to 18 years of age.
- Raising the age limit, at which a residence order automatically ends, from 16 to 18 years, will provide greater stability for the child. The changes will also facilitate continued financial support for carers’ entitlement, which ceases at the end of the residence order (normally 16 years old at present).
The CYPA 2008 changes this so that a residence order will last until the child reaches 18 unless the court directs otherwise.
The following court forms and leaflets have been amended to reflect these changes:
- C13A – Supplement for an application for SGO
- CB1 – Making an application – Children and family courts
- CB4 – Special Guardianship – a guide for court users