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Homeless children in need must be accommodated under Children Act 1989, s 20 and not s 17

Friday 18 May 2007

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In R (H) and others v Wandsworth, Lambeth and Islington LBC and the Department for Education and Skills [2007] EWHC 1082 Admin

Mr Justice Holman held that local authorities were required to accommodate children in need of accommodation under Children Act 1989, s 20, so that they were entitled to the protective machinery of being looked after and also after-care services, when they became young adults. He held that it was unlawful to provide accommodation under s 17 of the Children Act 1989, in cases where children met the criteria in s 20. This case brings to an end the practice of many local authorities of accommodating child asylum-seekers, and others, under s 17, when those children meet the s 20 criteria.

Counsel for the children was Stephen Knafler of Garden Court Chambers.

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