2013 03 Children

Monday 1 April 2013

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R (on the application of X) v LB of Tower Hamlets [2013] EWHC 480 (Admin) (Males J): The Court held that the policy of a local authority to pay family foster carers less than unrelated foster carers was unlawful. Click here for judgment.

R (AB and anor) v LB of Haringey [2013] EWHC 416 (Admin) (HHJ Anthony Thornton QC): A claim for judicial review was brought which raises a question as to whether a child had been subject to a s47, Children Act 1989 investigation, and if so, whether the decision to undertake a s47 investigation was lawful. The Court having traversed the social services records concluded that although the local authority indicated that it would be undertaking a s47 investigation, it never did and had no basis for doing so. Any reference to a s47 investigation is ordered to be removed from the records. Click here for judgment.

R (ES) v LB of Barking and Dagenham [2013] EWHC 691 (Admin) (Mr. Robin Purchas Q.C.): The Court was asked to consider whether the Defendant failed to carry out an assessment of the needs of a mother and son under s17, Children Act 1989. The case raised a specific point as to whether the Defendant was entitled to look to the availability of s4 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 powers by the Secretary of State to accommodate and support in deciding whether to assess the needs of the family. The Court held that whilst the Defendant was entitled to take into account the actions of the Secretary of State, it did not absolve it of the duty to take reasonable steps to carry out a lawful assessment of needs. Click here for judgment.

R (MA and ors) v Independent Adjudicator and Director of YOI Ashfield, Secretary of State of Justice (intervening) [2013] EWHC 438 (Admin) (Nicola Davies J): This claim raised issues as to the manner in which Ashfield conducted adjudications in respect of young offenders at the prison. The claim was brought on behalf of a number of young offenders. The claim succeeded in part, most notably in respect of the breach of Article 6, ECHR in respect of one young offender's adjudication. Click here for judgment.

Other matters:

  • The Supreme Court has granted permission to the Appellant to appeal against the order in R (AA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWCA Civ 1383 and the hearing has been expedited, to be heard on 7 and 8 May 2013.
  • The Government has issued new revised statutory guidance on assessing children in need. This followed from consultation last year. The revised statutory guidance had originally been expected to be issued in December 2012 but was delayed till March 2013, with some of the key concerns raised by campaigners taken on board in the new guidance. Click here for the new guidance and click here for the government's response to the consultation.

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