Special Guardians and Adopters Together is a peer led and peer supported campaigning and awareness raising group. Together we parent and care for some of the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people, who have often suffered multiple trauma and loss. We provide permanent families for children who cannot live with their birth parents and we are the only way a child can leave the care system before the age of 18.
We formed in August 2017, initially just for adopters – but in reflecting on the problems we face, as permanent families in the UK context, it began to make sense to include special guardians, who face many similar issues. The decision to include Special Guardians in our group and work together with them was taken at the end of October 2017. We changed our name to Special Guardians and Adopters Together at the end of February 2018 after a decisive vote.
SG&AT is entirely pro adoption and special guardianship. We firmly believe in these forms of permanence because they provide a child with family, a sense of belonging and identity, and unconditional love. We would like to see more family centred support rather than a system that focuses on the ‘Child in Need’ as separate from their family, especially when our children can’t live with us – we are ‘Families In Need’ – and often ‘Families in Crisis’ or on the verge of it. Wherever our children live – they are still part of our families.
As a group, SG&AT tries to provide a platform for people who wish to see positive social change for children who are brought up in second permanent families. We seek to enable all involved to be supported to create beneficial change, through engaging in research and dialogue in order to achieve shared understanding of the problems. The problems we deal with are so complex and we so much need to find ways to come together with researchers, professionals and experts. With so many caring people, adopters, special guardians, professionals and experts from a range of disciplines we hope to find better ways of minimising the trauma experienced by children and their families. We feel participation in sharing skills and knowledge to achieve this common goal probably needs better supportive structures to optimise success – in this difficult and complex task. We hope this can be thought about with us so our voices can be heard and we can be part of shaping a system that really supports all involved.
Special Guardians, and Adopters are more than welcome to join our group and we welcome any opportunity to work with those who work to try to support us, to develop services or to develop policies and legislation to help these services to be more beneficial and effective.
If you are interested in one of our articles please go to the ‘Our Voices, Our Stories’ page on the menu, where you will find all the articles we have published listed.
We are supporting several petitions:
Please click this link here to go to the 1989 Children’s Act Petition.
Please click this link here to go to the ‘lack of LAC’ Petition
Our children are our future, and loving families are the key to theirs, so we hope that all those working with children will wish to listen to us and work together with us.
If you are an Adopter, or Special Guardian, and would like to join our campaigning group, please click HERE to complete a membership form.
We are very grateful for public donations to help us cover expenses and running costs. You can donate using our Just Giving Page
If you are not an adopter or special guardian, and are interested in supporting us or working with us please complete this contact form