Parental consent not required for section 20 accommodation

February 9th, 2017 by Jonathan Auburn

Is it a breach of a local authority’s duty under section 20 of the Children Act 1989, and article 8 of the ECHR, to keep children in foster care without their parent’s consent? This was the question answered by the Court of Appeal in London Borough of Hackney v Williams [2017] EWCA Civ 26. Read more »


Law Commission report delayed

December 1st, 2016 by Joanne Clement

For those who were eagerly awaiting the Law Commission’s final report and draft bill on Deprivation of Liberty before Christmas (a small stocking filler, perhaps?) I am afraid that you will be disappointed. The Law Commission announced today that the project has been delayed until March 2017.

In a statement, the Law Commission said:

“The reason for the delay is the complexity of the task of drafting legislation on such an important issue. It is vitally important to get the law right here. Badly drafted, over-complicated law is a big part of the problem with the current DoLS, and we do not want to fall into the same trap again…. Read more »


Who pays (No 2)? Personal injury damages and after-care services under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983

November 18th, 2016 by Joanne Clement

In R (Damien Tinsley (by his litigation friend and property and affairs deputy, Hugh Jones) v Manchester City Council and South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group [2016] EWHC 2855 (Admin), the Administrative Court considered whether a local authority was entitled to refuse to provide after-care services under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (“the MHA”) when an applicant was in receipt of a large personal injury award, which included an element for the future cost of care. The Judge (HHJ Stephen Davies, sitting as a High Court Judge) held that it was not. A local authority cannot have regard to the claimant’s ability to fund the cost of after-care services from damages awarded to him in a personal injury claim when determining whether to provide after-care services under section 117 of the MHA.

Read more »


Who pays?  Section 20 and accommodating children in need with their grandparents.

November 17th, 2016 by Andrew Sharland

Earlier this week, the Court of Appeal, in R (Cunningham) v Hertfordshire County Council [2016] EWCA Civ 1108, considered the issue of whether local authorities are required to fund placements of children with relatives where the child’s parents are, for whatever reason, unable to look after them. Read more »


Liar liar? Fair procedure, credibility and assessments

November 11th, 2016 by Hannah Slarks


We are all left reeling from the news across the pond.  It may feel as if no one cares anymore about who is telling the truth or what is fair.  But, when all about you are losing their heads, turn to a recent decision from the Administrative Court for reassurance.  In R (S and J) v Haringey LBC [2016] EWHC 2692 (Admin), the High Court handed down useful guidance on the procedure that authorities should follow before concluding that a person lacks credibility. Read more »


Closure of Children’s Centres

October 25th, 2016 by Christopher Knight

Langstaff J has recently handed down an interesting judgment in R (A, B & C) v Oxfordshire County Council [2016] EWHC 2419 (Admin). This was a failed judicial review challenge to decisions taken by Oxfordshire CC leading to the closure of a number of children’s centres.  It is a case of some significance, because it is the first time a Court has explained how the split between a LA’s executive functions and full council functions affects the discharge of the public sector equality duty and other procedural obligations. Read more »


The Children and Social Work Bill: a bonfire of rights?

October 9th, 2016 by Joanne Clement

Those who attended the 11KBW Local Authority Conference on Tuesday will have heard me speak about the Children and Social Work Bill (“the Bill”). The Bill was introduced in the House of Lords in May of this year, and is currently working its way through that House. Read more »


When is enough, enough? Runaways and Section 20

September 28th, 2016 by Hannah Slarks

After a summer break, the 11KBW Community Care blog is back for the new term.  In fact, we’ve already forgotten what being on holiday felt like.  We expect you know the feeling.  Sigh.

The blog’s comeback case concerns a vulnerable young man who repeatedly refused to be placed: R (on the application of AI) v Haringey Borough Council (2016) QBD (Admin). The question before the Court was whether LB Haringey had done all that was reasonably practicable to try to place him. Read more »


Support for NRPF families

July 14th, 2016 by Jonathan Auburn

Where a family is designated as having no right of recourse to public funds (“NRPF”) but is still supported under the Children Act section 17, what type of accommodation and what rates of support must the local authority provide as a minimum to comply with section 17? And when will any failure to provide appropriate support give rise to a breach of Article 8 sounding in damages? Those were the issues the Court of Appeal addressed this week in R (C, T, M and U) v London Borough of Southwark [2016] EWCA Civ 707. Read more »


Local authorities challenge Hunt over funding for deprivation of liberty regime

June 7th, 2016 by Rupert Paines

The local authorities for Liverpool, Nottinghamshire, Richmond-upon-Thames and Shropshire have issued a judicial review of great significance to everyone involved in community care law. The claim alleges an ongoing failure by the Secretary of State for Health properly to fund local authorities in England so that they can implement the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (“DOLS”) regime as it has expanded following the Supreme Court’s well-known decision in Cheshire West. Read more »