LEGAL LEARNING SESSION: Understanding and applying section 20 of the Children Act

10/12/2021 15:30 - 16:30

Social workers’ understanding and use of section 20 (and its equivalent, section 76 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014) has come under scrutiny again this year, with a major report for the President of the Family Division finding a lack of clarity about when ‘voluntary accommodation’ is appropriate. In some areas, fear of criticism from managers and the judiciary following high-profile court cases is leading to a disproportionate use of court proceedings when an arrangement under section 20 would be in the child’s best interests. This session will:

  • Draw on the new best practice guidance issued by the Public Law Working Group.
  • Clarify what other guidance and case law remains relevant and how to apply it.
  • Explain how and when social workers should make use of section 20, including when it should be considered instead of initiating care proceedings.
  • Provide examples from case law.

There is a fee to attend legal learning seminars at Community Care Live.

William Dean, barrister, 9 Gough Chambers