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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34234
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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If a child is accommodated under section 20 of the children's

Resolved Question:

If a child is accommodated under section 20 of the children's act with parents agreement, what grounds are there, if any for a local authority to apply for a care order and to effectively take parental responsibility away from the parents?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old is the child and who is the child living with?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi. She is now 15 and living with a foster carer.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How long has the child been accommodated and has there been any disagreement about the way forward for her care?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We initiallly agreed to 6 weeks as she was out of control. Childrens services were supposed to arrange therapy for her as she has major attachment trauma. We adopted her when she was 7. She has now been in care for 2 yrs and little has changed. She refuses to come home. We retained parental responsibility but Childrens Services do not like having to ask our permission for things such as overnight stays away from placement etc and our involvement with her education - she wanted to change schools (on a whim) but we refused permission. Her foster carer (of 4 months) encourages her antagonistic behaviour and do not want us involved in any decision making. The plan is and has always been for her to return home.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
For clarity - the child has been in voluntary care for two years is that correct?
When will she turn 16?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She has been in voluntary care since November 2012. She will be 16 in August 2015
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Are the Local Authority saying they intend to issue proceedings within the next few months - if so then this is likely to be to ensure that the child cannot merely walk out of the current placement as she would be entitled to when she turns 16.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi. No I don't think that's the case. There are viewed threats of proceedings when we disagree with them over anything. I think it's a threat which is meant to force us to toe their line. As she is already in care they cannot use any of the criteria normally used totals children away from parents. If she chooses to walk away from care at 16 then what difference does it make if the L a have pr?
I really think that the L A are blowing hot air but really need to be sure that they cannot invent grounds to remove or from us.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
If there is a Care Order in place than the Local Authority can keep the child in care until then - hence the possible application.
The mere fact that after two years there has been no progress sin her re-settlement would be sufficient grounds for an Order to be made.
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi. The fact that she has not returned home is that she is receiving no therapy, is now on her 7th placement and is just allowed to remain in her own destructive mindset. We want her to return home. We have asked the LA to move her nearer to home - she is currently a 1 and a 1/2 hour drive away. If the L A did issue proceedings do we get a say and would we get legal aid?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Yes of course you can oppose it - and yes you will get Legal Aid
The deciding factor however will be the wishes of the child in the matter
Clare
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