‘Special Guardianship – an agenda for change’ highlights the importance and challenges of contact between children, their carers and their birth families. It also flags up the many difficulties associated with keeping children in touch with their birth families. The film ‘The first day of forever’ captures the experiences of special guardians on this issue.

All the research studies highlight the lack of research on contact in relation to special guardianship when compared to adoption. There is however increasing recognition of the importance of identifying the experiences and significance of contact arrangements in special guardianship.

Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (2020) Contact between children in care or adopted and their families: six key messages from research briefing paper is based on findings from three evidence reviews commissioned by the Nuffield FJO.

Iyer, P., Boddy, J., Hammelsbeck, R., and Lynch-Huggins, S. (2020). Contact following placement in care, adoption or special guardianship: implications for children’s and young people’s wellbeing Evidence Review

Evidence from research on Kinship Care and Special Guardianship

Hunt J., (2000) Key findings from the last two decades of UK research on kinship care

Wellard S., Meakings S., Farmer E., and Hunt J. (2017). Growing up in kinship care: Experiences as adolescents and outcomes in young adulthood. London: Grandparents Plus

Simmonds, J., Harwin, J., Brown., R., and Broadhurst, K. (2019) Special Guardianship: a review of the evidence, summary report, Nuffield Family Justice Observatory.

Harwin, J., Simmonds, J., Broadhurst, K., and Brown., R. (2019) Special guardianship: a review of the English research studies, Nuffield Family Justice Observatory.

Harwin, J, Alrouh, B., Golding, L., McQuarrie, T., Broadhurst, K., and Cusworth L. (2019) The contribution of supervision orders and special guardianship to children’s lives and family justice, final report.

Murray,  E, Rebecca Lacey,  Maughan,  B., Sacker, A. (2020) Non-parental care in childhood and health up to 30 years later: ONS Longitudinal Study 1971–2011 [subscription only], European Journal of Public Health, Volume 30, Issue 6

Cleaver H., Rose., W. (2021) Safeguarding Children living with Foster Carers, Adopters and Special Guardians: Learning from case reviews 2007–2019, CoramBAAF

Cleaver H., Rose., W. (2021) Safeguarding Children living with Foster Carers, Adopters and Special Guardians: A guide to reflective practice, CoramBAAF

Research findings on poverty and deprivation and impacts on child development

Anda RF, Felitti VJ, Bremner JD, Walker JD, Whitfield CH, Perry BD, Dube SR, Giles WH. (2006) The enduring effects of abuse and related adverse experiences in childhood. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 256(3): 174–186.

Bywaters, Paul & Bunting, Lisa & Davidson, Gavin & Hanratty, Jennifer & Mason, Will & Mccartan, Claire & Steils, Nicole. (2016) The relationship between poverty, child abuse and neglect: an evidence review.

Featherstone, Brid et al. (2019) Poverty, inequality, child abuse and neglect: Changing the conversation across the UK in child protection? Children and youth services review, 97, pp.127–133.

Marmot, M., (2020) Health equity in England: the Marmot review 10 years on. Bmj, 368.

Pressure on budgets

Holmes L., (2021) Children’s Social Care Cost Pressures and Variations in Unit Costs Research Report, Rees Centre, Oxford University