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Guidance on accommodating children in need and their families

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It is true, as Mr Mc Guire points out, that the 2002 Order assumes that there will be some homeless 16 or 17 year olds who are not owed a duty under section 20.But that is a very different thing from saying that there are children who are not owed a duty under section 20 because they are or may be owed a duty under the 1996 Act. The 2002 Order takes out of priority need those children who require accommodation in the circumstances set out in section 20(1).The power to provide accommodation under Section 17 is usually used for children needing to be accommodated with their families.A child will be considered as a child in need when: The services provided by a Local Authority under this section may include providing accommodation, giving assistance in kind, or in exceptional circumstances cash.It is not for the local authority to decide that, because they do not like what the duty to accommodate involves or do not think it appropriate, they do not have to accommodate at all. Section 20(1) entails a series of judgments, helpfully set out by Ward LJ in R (A) v Croydon London Borough Council [2008] EWCA Civ 1445, at para 75. There are hints of this in the social worker’s view that “ A is quite a resourceful teenager - by his own admission he has spent the last 1 - 2 months moving around amongst friends and girlfriends and sourcing his own accommodation. “ But it cannot seriously be suggested that a child excluded from home who is “sofa surfing” in this way, more often sleeping in cars, snatching showers and washing his clothes when he can, is not in need.Furthermore, it appears that A has attempted to adhere to his own values around personal hygiene despite these circumstances. Mr Brims also pointed out that “ A’s lack of permanent housing will have a long term impact upon his educational attainment and will also impact upon other practical areas of his life.The Local Authority in the area where the child lives is responsible for making provision for the child, so long as it is necessary.

Behre & Ors, R v Hillingdon London Borough Council [2003] EWHC 2075 (Admin)(HC) confirmed that UASC under 18 should be accommodated as looked after children under s20 of the Children Act 1989."

(Public Law 94-142), in 1975, to support states and localities in protecting the rights of, meeting the individual needs of, and improving the results for Hector and other infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their families.

This landmark law, whose 25th Anniversary we celebrate this year, is currently enacted as the (IDEA), as amended in 1997.

One of the person's in your authority who may be able to support responses to this request is the author off the above letter, a John Donaldson, the of your Head of Immigration & Emergency Services.

Notes: LAC (2003)13: Guidance on accommodating children in need and their families “where a child has no parent or guardian in this country, perhaps because he has arrived alone seeking asylum, the presumption should be that he would fall within the scope of section 20 and become looked after, unless the needs assessment reveals particular factors which would suggest that an alternative response would be more appropriate.