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Just for Kids Law (1121638) www.justforkidslaw.org Looked After Children.

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Presentation on theme: "Just for Kids Law (1121638) www.justforkidslaw.org Looked After Children."— Presentation transcript:

1 Just for Kids Law ( ) Looked After Children

2 Just for Kids Law ( ) Definition of a Looked After Child Children Act 1989 s. 22(1)In this Act, any reference to a child who is looked after by a local authority is a reference to a child who is— (a)in their care; or (b)provided with accommodation by the authority

3 Just for Kids Law ( ) Duty to Accommodate? S20(1) Children Act 1989: Every local authority shall provide accommodation for any child in need within their area who appears to them to require accommodation as a result of— (a)there being no person who has parental responsibility for him;(b)his being lost or having been abandoned; or(c)the person who has been caring for him being prevented (whether or not permanently, and for whatever reason) from providing him with suitable accommodation or care

4 Just for Kids Law ( ) When Duty to Accommodate Arises Duty arises immediately where nowhere safe to stay: para 2.16 of the DCSF guidance Provision of Accommodation for 16 and 17 year old young people who may be homeless and/or require accommodation https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standa rd/publicationDetail/Page1/DCSF https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standa rd/publicationDetail/Page1/DCSF Parental consent required for under 16s Also applies for bail addresses needed in an emergency or accommodation on release from custody.

5 Just for Kids Law ( ) Duty to Safeguard and Promote Welfare Section 22(3)It shall be the duty of a local authority looking after any child—.(a)to safeguard and promote his welfare; and (b)to make such use of services available for children cared for by their own parents as appears to the authority reasonable in his case.. (3A)includes in particular a duty to promote the child’s educational achievement.].

6 Just for Kids Law ( ) Duties owed to Looked After Child To provide accommodation for him (near or with family member if compatible with safeguarding & promoting welfare) in most appropriate placement available. To maintain him in other respects (financial and emotional support) Visits from LA social worker at least every 6 wks Duty to promote educational achievement: s22(3A) and Avoid disrupting education, in particular at key stage 4 Care and Placement Plan so support implemented guidance hildren/Page1/DCSF hildren/Page1/DCSF

7 Just for Kids Law ( ) Option to Accommodate Children Act 1989 s.20 (4)A local authority may provide accommodation for any child within their area (even though a person who has parental responsibility for him is able to provide him with accommodation) if they consider that to do so would safeguard or promote the child’s welfare.

8 Just for Kids Law ( ) Parental Responsibility But(7)A local authority may not provide accommodation under this section for any child if any person who(a)has parental responsibility for him; and (b)is willing and able to (i)provide accommodation for him; or (ii)arrange for accommodation to be provided for him, objects. (8)Any person who has parental responsibility for a child may at any time remove the child from accommodation.

9 Just for Kids Law ( ) Wishes and Feelings Children Act (4) Duty to ascertain, as far as reasonably possible, wishes and feelings of (a)child (having regard to his age and understanding 22(5))(b) parents; (c)any person with parental responsibility(d)any other person whose wishes and feelings relevant, Due consideration given to above and religious persuasion, racial origin, cultural and linguistic background (22(5)(c) )

10 Just for Kids Law ( ) Accommodation Must be Suitable What constitutes suitable accommodation? Not b&b or hostel, even in an emergency Para 2.10 DCSF guidance: “The Secretary of State considers that Bed and Breakfast accommodation is unsuitable for 16 and 17 year olds” Can be: foster care, children’s home, semi- independent, independent with floating support, independent Can also be with a relative or family friend

11 Just for Kids Law ( ) Additional Duties if LAC in YDA Guidance and Regulations for former looked after children in custody https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDow nload/DfE pdf LA must appoint representative to visit. Should usually be a qualified social worker employed, but not YOT worker. Visit within 10 working days of entering custody, unless not reasonably practicable. Visit is to assess his needs whilst in custody and for release. Assessment should be completed within 20 working days Thereafter rep must visit when reasonably requested

12 Just for Kids Law ( ) Leaving Care Support -Crucial Time ‘Looked after’ for 13 weeks (or more): Regulation 40, Care Planning Regs weeks does not need to be continuous This includes periods where the child has been RLAA

13 Just for Kids Law ( ) Leaving Care Support- Crucial Ages The period they were looked after began after 14 and ended after 16. Eligible Child = years old and currently ‘looked after’ Relevant Child=16 / 17 year old. Not currently looked after but was looked after for 13 weeks Former Relevant Child =18-21 years old (up to 25 if in education Qualifying Young Person aged (up to 24 in ed)Was accommodate between 16-18(has not met the 13 week period criteria)

14 Just for Kids Law ( ) Leaving Care Support Eligible Child: 19B part 2 sched 2 CA years old and currently ‘looked after’ Has Looked after for at least 13 weeks (does not have to be continuous), between years old, with at least some time over age of 16: Reg 40 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 Relevant Child: s23A (2), CA / 17 year old Not currently accommodated/looked after but was looked after for 13 weeks or more between years old, with at least some time over 16 Additional categories (reg regs): Youth Offender: would have been relevant child but for at 16, detained through criminal justice system or hospital Qualifying Young Person (s24 CA 1989) Young person aged (or up to 24 if in education/training) Was at some stage between accommodated / looked after / privately fostered, but is no longer Not ‘eligible’ child or ‘relevant child’ (has not met the 13 week period criteria) Former Relevant Child (s23C CA 1989) years old (up to 25 if pursuing a programme of education s23CA) Previously an eligible or relevant child, become ‘former relevant’ at 18 Can be retrospectively recognised – eg when social services should have s20 accommodated

15 Just for Kids Law ( ) Leaving Care Support Provision Accommodation Eligible Children the LA must provide Relevant Children must provide unless LA satisfied their welfare does not require it Former Relevant Children priority need for housing. Where they are not able to access mainstream housing, the LA must provide if welfare requires it (generally always) Qualifying Young Persons LA has a discretion to provide. QYPs are also priority need for housing

16 Just for Kids Law ( ) Leaving Care Support Provision Financial Support Eligible children receive financial support from the LA (they are Looked After) Relevant children receive financial support unless LA satisfied welfare does not require it Former Relevant Children - expected to access mainstream benefits. If not possible entitled to support to the extent their welfare requires it. Qualifying Young Persons LA discretion to provide financial support

17 Just for Kids Law ( ) Leaving Care Support Provision Contact Eligible child must be visited by SW at least every 6 weeks Relevant and Former Relevant Child Duty to keep in touch Qualifying Young Person contact when LA deems it appropriate to discharge its functions

18 Just for Kids Law ( ) Personal Adviser Reg 8 of Care Leavers (England) Regs 2010 PA for all eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant Children. (No PA for QYP: LA duty to ‘advise and befriend’) R (J) v Caerphilly CBC [2005] 2 FLR 860 : role of PA: “advocate of the child in the course of the child’s dealings with the local authority. … He is, in a sense, a ‘go- between’ between the child and the local authority” PA must be independent of LA – should not hold the purse strings Must participate in pathway plan reviews but cannot undertake them alone

19 Just for Kids Law ( ) Pathway Plan Reg 5 -7 of 2010 regs For all eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant Children Needs must first be assessed to then draw up pathway plan. R (J) v Caerphilly : “A pathway plan must spell out who does what, where and when” A v Lambeth LBC [2010] EWHC 2439 (Admin): must be “at an acceptable level of specificity… Pathway plan should be reviewed every 6 months at least

20 Just for Kids Law ( ) Terminology Child in Need (CIN): s17(10) Children Act 1989 Looked After Child (LAC): s22(1) CA 1989 Eligible Child: para 19B, schedule 2, part 2 CA 1989 Relevant Child: s23A(2) CA 1989 Former Relevant Child: s23C(1) CA 1989 Qualifying Young person: s24(1) CA 1989 Pathway Plan: s23E CA 1989 & reg 4-7 Care Leavers (England) Regulations 2010 Personal Adviser: s23D CA 1989 & reg 8 Care Leavers (England) Regulations 2010


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