Section 20 Practice Guidance

Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 extended earlier legal provision dating back to 1948 which recognised that some parents were unable either on a single occasion or periodically to look after their child or children through no fault of their own. Looking after children on behalf of parents in stretched circumstances has therefore been a mainstream care system provision for over sixty years. In that time, many hundreds of thousands of children and parents have been supported and helped to stay together as a direct result.

There is no existing statutory guidance relating to the general use of section 20 so ADCS has worked in partnership with Cafcass and ADSS Cymru to produce this note for the benefit of the sector following a recent rise in applications for care and supervision orders in respect of children and young people accommodated voluntarily and Sir James Munby’s detailed ruling at the end of 2015.

View the practice guidance

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