The Forum received this post and thought it worthy of a repost:
- Section 20 arrangements are voluntary – this means that the local authority cannot place a child in alternative accommodation unless parents agree to the arrangement.
- You are entitled to be fully informed – the local authority must offer you as much information as you need, in a clear and accessible format
- If you have parental responsibility for a child, you can remove your child from accommodation provided by or on behalf of the local authority at any time
- If a child is 16 or 17, they can leave the accommodation without parental consent
- Always ask for a S.20 arrangement to be put into writing – something this important shouldn’t be set up on word of mouth. If anyone refuses to put this agreement in writing, tell them you have the support of the President Of The Family Division
- Children have a right to be heard – any child who wants to express their wishes and feelings in writing is entitled to do so under a S.20 agreement, and to have those views taken on board by the local authority
- A S.20 arrangement should never be used to secure care proceedings – local authorities do not have the right to put you off terminating a S.20 by giving you the impression that it’s final or compulsory.
It’s from Researching Reform and can be found here.