Legal Framework for Special Guardianship in England

Legal Framework for Special Guardianship in England

Special guardianship is regulated by the following Acts and regulations:

The Children Act 1989 was amended by the Adoption and Children Act 2002 to establish special guardianship.

The following sections of the Children Act 1989 are relevant in setting out the legal definition of parental responsibility which is core to special guardianship.

  • Section 1 which sets out the welfare principle.
  • Section 2 which gives the definition of parental responsibility.
  • Section 3 gives the meaning of parental responsibility.

The Regulatory Framework for Special Guardianship can be accessed at:

The Special Guardianship Regulations 2005

The Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016

The Department of Education also provides Statutory Guidance on Special Guardianship.

A commissioned summary of relevant case law judgments has been prepared by Sir James Munby, former President of the Family Division (until July 2018) and Lucy Logan Green, Barrister, 4 Paper Buildings Chambers​​.

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