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Comment High Court judgment on deprivation of liberty orders for...

Commenting on the High Court ruling on deprivation of liberty orders for under 16s, ADCS President Charlotte Ramsden said:

“This judgement on the use of deprivation of liberty via the inherent jurisdiction of the courts is welcome. We endorse the judgement that “inherent jurisdiction plays an essential role in meeting the need as a matter of public policy for children to be properly safeguarded; it provides an important means of securing children’s interests when other solutions are not available.” It confirms that in the absence of any alternatives, local authorities can continue to use what amounts to a placement of last resort for children who are in extreme and heightened distress. The use of unregulated provision for under 16s has always been an option of last resort and we are working intensively on the development of alternatives for highly specialist care and support. Currently, quality specialist placements are very hard to come by leading at times to the development of bespoke individual arrangements. In advance of the changes to care regulations coming into force, local authorities have worked hard to move the few children in such placements into registered homes but it remains the case that in a very small number of instances there might be no obvious alternative and we believe a wholly new response is needed that is flexible, agile, highly therapeutic and delivered in a safe environment.”


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