Another damning indictment of the commoditisation of children for profit by the corporate parent. Misappropriation of s20 arrangements in this way is undue influence. Any taking of children into state care is a temporary measure to be discontinued as soon as circumstances permit. This requires periodic effective monitoring. LA’s marking their own homework falls way short of the benchmarks to ensure best interests, welfare and family human rights are respected, engaged and secured in practice.
A damning judgment has revealed that another council is using Section 20 Agreements – which are intended to be voluntary – to force children into care indefinitely.
Herefordshire county council kept a boy in state care for his whole life without getting the consent of a court, which is required by law. The judge identified 14 other children in the council’s care who had been separated from their parents and placed in care for inappropriate periods of time.
In his judgment, Judge Keehan said he had never before come across a situation in which a council had “so seriously and serially failed to address the needs of the children in its care, and so seriously misused, and indeed abused” its statutory powers.
Unlike Judge Keehan, we have often seen Section 20 Agreements being used illegally, across a number of councils. The practice is so common that in 2015, President of the…
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