What is a Children’s Guardian?
Children’s Guardians are qualified in social work and trained and experienced in working with children and families. They are appointed by the court to represent the rights and interests of children in cases that involve social services. They are independent of social services, courts and everyone else involved in the case. Children’s Guardians work for CAFCASS or may be self-employed. Their role is to consider what is best for the child at all times during a case. The important part is that they are independent, they do not always agree with the social worker. They will have their own solicitor to represent them at court in your case.
What does a Children’s Guardian do?
Children’s Guardians are there to help achieve the best possible outcome for the children they represent. In particular, they:-
- Appoint a solicitor for the child who specialises in working with children and families;
- Advise the court on what work needs to be done before the court makes a final decision;
- Write a report for the court saying what they think would be best for the child. The report must tell the court about the wishes and feelings of the child. You should receive a copy of the report before the final hearing.
To do this, the Children’s Guardian spends time getting to know the child and members of their family. They talk to other people who know the family, such as relatives, teachers, social workers and health visitors. They attend meetings on behalf of the child, check records and read reports and statements. They may also recommend to the court that other professionals are asked to help, such as a paediatrician or a psychologist.
If you would like legal advice or help with your family case, please contact our Family Solicitors.