Reply To: Dependant Child placed with claimant’s sister under s.20 Children Act 1989


Hi Julian

I have read and re-read the wording of s.20 in conjuction with s.22 especially s.22(1)(b) states as follows:

22. General duty of local authority in relation to children looked after by them

(1) in this Act, any reference to a child who is "looked after" by a local authorty is a reference to a child who is–

(a) in their care; or

(b) provided with accommodation by the authority in the exercise of any functions (in particular those under this Act) which are social services functions within the meaning of the LASSA 1970, apart from functions under s.17, 23B and 24B

(2) in subsection(1) "accommodation" means accommodation which is provided for a continuous period of more than 24 hours

Based on this I don't think that LAs always have to have PR in looked after cases as long as they are providing Olivia with "accommodation" within the meaning of subsection (2) albeit its accommodation provided by the Aunt (on behalf of the LA) provided that the mum does not object under s.20(8) my analysis is that the LA will be deemed to be looking after the child as long as this s.20 arrangement is in place.

I have added Olivia back to the claim from the date she resumed living there but I think she will need to be treated as "looked after" which means she cannot count as temporarily absent for the period at least May to December 2017.

I would be v.interested so please let me know if you have any more thoughts on this.