LOCAL AUTHORITY: R (G) v Southwark London Borough Council [2008] EWCA Civ 877

15 AUG 2008

(Court of Appeal; Pill, Rix and Longmore LJJ; 29 July 2008)

By a majority the court dismissed the child's application for judicial review, concluding that the local authority had been entitled to decide that, even though the child was unable to live with the mother and had no other home, he was a child who required help with his accommodation, rather than requiring accommodation as a child in need. The distinction between those two classes of child was lawful, even though not expressly drawn in Children Act 1989, s 20. The social services department had therefore been entitled to refer the child to the housing department, which had proceeded to house the child as a person in priority need; the social services department had not been under an obligation to provide the child with accommodation, and thereafter to treat him as a 'looked after' child.

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