This book provides a sound introduction to the obligations of local authorities to vulnerable children and their families who may be in need of services and support primarily under the Children Act 1989.
The book usefully looks at:
1) Sources of law including legislation, human rights, government guidance, international conventions and the function of the local government ombudsman in relation to local authorities.
2) The problem of determining the correct age of young asylum seekers and other migrants arriving in the UK.
3) The wide range of local authority support and services available to children and their families.
4) The duties and powers available to local authorities to provide accommodation for children and the obligations to provide accommodation for 16/17-year-olds who are unable to live with their families or carers.
5) The services available for migrant children and their families, including families with no recourse to public funds, unaccompanied minors who enter the UK without family or carers and trafficked children. And
6) The leaving care regime as set out in the Children Act 1989.
As well as providing a good grounding for the uninitiated, for the experienced practitioner the book serves as a beneficial reminder of the key provisions relevant to children in need. The consideration of the plentiful case law, guidance and regulations in this area of law is very helpful.
There is also useful information about the various means of redress available to children and families who wish to challenge local authority decisions, looking not only at judicial remedies but also alternatives.
This book is well written, providing a concise but sufficiently detailed look at the law relating to children in need. All practitioners could draw something from it in their day-to-day work.
Authors: Ian Wise QC, Steve Broach, Jamie Burton, Caoilfhionn Gallagher, Alison Pickup, Ben Silverstone, Azeem Suterwalla
Rosemarie Martin is a local government and social services solicitor, London