‘No Duty’ On Councils To Get Parents’ Consent For S.20 Arrangements


Researching Reform

A recent ruling in the Court Of Appeal suggests that local authorities do not have to get parents’ permission before placing children in accommodation under S.20 of the Children Act 1989.

The Court took this view because the law addressing S.20 arrangements is silent on the issue of parental consent and because both parents in this case were subject to bail conditions, and so not legally able to mount an objection around consent. The Court of Appeal also went on to say that a failure to get consent may not necessarily constitute negligent or actionable behaviour on the part of the local authority.

Whilst the Children Act 1989 doesn’t mention whether or not consent is required, S.20 arrangements are meant to be collaborations between parents, children and the local authority, so whilst the Children Act doesn’t expressly state consent is required, it is implied.

The entire provision is based upon understanding and agreement – what…

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