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Children Act 1989, The

Local Authority Support for Children and Families

£69.00

Providing you with a detailed examination of Part III of the Children Act 1989

Paperback i

Book printed softcover

£69.00
The Children Act 1989: Local Authority Support for Children and Families is dedicated to providing a detailed examination of the Children Act 1989,Part III.

This new edition is fully updated and expanded to take account of new legislation and case law. It helps readers understand this rapidly-growing area, and includes chapters on Section 20 accommodation, age assessments of unaccompanied asylum-seekers, duties owed to children in need, secure accommodation and local authority responsibilities under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000. The new edition contains two new chapters, on support for families with no recourse to public funds and on judicial review. The book also covers all the recent key decisions of the Administrative Court in the interpretation of Part III.


  • Section17: Children in Need
  • Assessment of Children in Need
  • Age Assessments
  • Section 20: Duties and Powers
  • Section 20: Interpretation
  • Looked After Children
  • Secure Accommodation: Principles
  • Secure Accommodation: Practice
  • Leaving Care
  • Children in the Criminal JusticeSystem
  • No Recourse to Public Funds
  • The Children Act 1989 andJudicial Review
  • Appendices

"What are the duties and obligations owed by local authorities to children in need? The answer is not a simple one. Basically it pertains to the Children Act Part III - hence the title of this extremely useful book by Sally Gore, widely regarded as required reading for all those - including lawyers obviously - who are tasked professionally with assisting vulnerable children and young people.

But, as lawyers who deal with children issues will know, The Children Act 1989 has been added to and revised by further legislation designed to enhance the range of services that local authority children's services departments are required to provide under Part III of the Act.

This book aims to disentangle these legislative complexities by bringing together in one handy volume, the legislation, the statutory guidelines and the case law which, collectively, set out the duties and services to children that local authorities are required to provide.

As a clear, logically organized statement of what precisely constitutes local authority support for children and families, this book is indispensable. The fact that it is now going into a second edition indicates the high regard in which it is held by practitioners. You will find all the recent key decisions of the Administrative Court on the interpretation of Part III in this new edition, plus two new chapters: one on support for families with no recourse to public funds, and another on The Children Act 1989 and judicial review.

The book's diverse subject matter is helpfully supported by illustrative cases throughout. Copiously footnoted and clearly written, it works well as a source of references for further research into what has come to be considered a relatively new and emerging area of law. Also note the tables of cases, statutes and statutory instruments, as well as the table of codes and guidance, plus two appendices and an index.

Practitioners specializing in children law, or anyone working within a local authority, non-government organisation, or charity dealing with vulnerable children and families should consider this informative and helpful book an essential purchase"


Read the full review
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor, Richmond Green Chambers


Review of the previous edition

"A one line review would simply say that this is a useful and clearly written book.
To begin to put the flesh on the bones, this book deals with the slightly awkward questions which don’t necessarily come up week in, week out, certainly for the majority of us, such as quite what duties a local authority has to a child who has at some point been in care (using the term loosely).  The end of that particular chapter has an excellent set of flowcharts and tables to help you work out the support to which the child in question is (or is not) entitled.

It’s very useful to have the relevant statutes, statutory instruments and case-law drawn together in one book and analysed carefully. The book helpfully highlights the areas where the law remains unclear and analyses the competing arguments in those situations ... it is a useful addition to the family practitioner’s library."


Read the full review
Julia Belyavin, Barrister, St John's Chambers

"This book aims to disentangle these legislative complexities by bringing together in one handy volume, the legislation, the statutory guidelines and the case law which, collectively, set out the duties and services to children that local authorities are required to provide.

As a clear, logically organized statement of what precisely constitutes local authority support for children and families, this book is indispensable.  The fact that it is now going into a second edition indicates the high regard in which it is held by practitioners.  You will find all the recent key decisions of the Administrative Court on the interpretation of Part III in this new edition -- plus two new chapters: one on support for families with no recourse to public funds – and another on The Children Act 1989 and judicial review.

The book’s diverse subject matter is helpfully supported by illustrative cases throughout.  Copiously footnoted and clearly written, it works well as a source of references for further research into what has come to be considered a relatively new and emerging area of law.  Also note the tables of cases, statutes and statutory instruments, as well as the table of codes and guidance, plus two appendices and an index. 

Practitioners specializing in children law, or anyone working within a local authority, non-government organisation, or charity dealing with vulnerable children and families should consider this informative and helpful book an essential purchase.

Read the full review
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers


Part III of the Children Act 1989 sets out the duties owed by local authorities to children and families in their area. It deals with services that must, or may, be provided by every local authority Children’s Services department. The provisions in Part III are often referred to as the voluntary provisions. They reflect the principles of minimal state intervention and of supporting children within their family of origin that were intended to be the cornerstones of the Children Act.

Prior to the implementation of the Children Act 1989, the range of services provided for under Part III of that Act were found in different pieces of legislation. This included provision within the Child Care Act 1980 for children to be supported within their family of origin where appropriate. Section 1 of that statute, for example, required local authorities to provide assistance to promote the welfare of children by taking steps to reduce the need for them to be taken into care or brought before the juvenile courts. Section 2 imposed a duty on local authorities to receive a child into voluntary care in certain circumstances.

Different welfare legislation, however, made provision for services to disabled people of all ages, including children. This included the National Health Service Act 1977, the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, and the National Assistance Act 1948.

The aim of the Children Act was to unify and consolidate the different legislative provisions relating to children. The objective was to ensure that all children should receive the standard of care and services appropriate to their needs. The new statute was to provide an overarching power to local authorities to promote the care and welfare of children within their area. The white paper which preceded the new legislation (The Law on Child Care and Family Services, Cm 62 (1987)) set out that, broadly speaking, all existing powers and duties to provide services to children were to be maintained and amalgamated in the new statute.

Since the implementation of the Children Act 1989, further legislation has added to and enhanced the range of services to be provided by local authority children’s services departments under Part III. The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 inserted new provisions into the 1989 Act designed to improve the life chances of young adults who have been looked after. The Children Act 2004 established children’s services departments and imposed new duties on all agencies working with children to co-operate and share information. In 2011, further amendments to Part III were brought into force by the Children and Young Persons Act 2008. This was accompanied by a fresh panoply of guidance and secondary legislation which aims to streamline and clarify the provision of services by local authorities under this Part. More recently, the Children and Families Act 2014 introduced new assessments for young carers and for parent carers of disabled children, and the Care Act 2014 sets out the arrangements for children in need to transition to adult social care services when they reach the age of 18.

In recent years, the higher courts have been repeatedly called upon to determine the parameters of the duties owed by local authorities under Part III. The aim of this book is to bring together the legislation, statutory guidance, and case law relating to these duties and services and to provide some analysis of what is a fascinating and rapidly growing area of the law relating to children and young people.

In the first edition of this book, attention was drawn to areas in which the provision available to children in need in Wales differed from that available to their English counterparts. The law in this area is about to undergo seismic change in Wales. The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 is due to come into force in April 2016. This statute reforms the law relating to children and adult social care in Wales. Part VI of the new Act will replace Part III of the Children Act 1989 and the concept of a ‘child in need’ will no longer exist in Wales. As a consequence of the forthcoming changes and the timing of this edition, it has not been practically possible to include the detail of the new legislation, and nor would it be useful to make extensive references to the legislation as it currently operates in Wales. The majority of references to Welsh law have therefore been omitted from this edition.
Part III of the Children Act 1989 sets out the duties owed by local authorities to children and families in their area. It deals with services that must, or may, be provided by every local authority Children’s Services department. The provisions in Part III are often referred to as the voluntary provisions. They reflect the principles of minimal state intervention and of supporting children within their family of origin that were intended to be the cornerstones of the Children Act.

Prior to the implementation of the Children Act 1989, the range of services provided for under Part III of that Act were found in different pieces of legislation. This included provision within the Child Care Act 1980 for children to be supported within their family of origin where appropriate. Section 1 of that statute, for example, required local authorities to provide assistance to promote the welfare of children by taking steps to reduce the need for them to be taken into care or brought before the juvenile courts. Section 2 imposed a duty on local authorities to receive a child into voluntary care in certain circumstances.

Different welfare legislation, however, made provision for services to disabled people of all ages, including children. This included the National Health Service Act 1977, the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, and the National Assistance Act 1948.

The aim of the Children Act was to unify and consolidate the different legislative provisions relating to children. The objective was to ensure that all children should receive the standard of care and services appropriate to their needs. The new statute was to provide an overarching power to local authorities to promote the care and welfare of children within their area. The white paper which preceded the new legislation (The Law on Child Care and Family Services, Cm 62 (1987)) set out that, broadly speaking, all existing powers and duties to provide services to children were to be maintained and amalgamated in the new statute.

Since the implementation of the Children Act 1989, further legislation has added to and enhanced the range of services to be provided by local authority children’s services departments under Part III. The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 inserted new provisions into the 1989 Act designed to improve the life chances of young adults who have been looked after. The Children Act 2004 established children’s services departments and imposed new duties on all agencies working with children to co-operate and share information. In 2011, further amendments to Part III were brought into force by the Children and Young Persons Act 2008. This was accompanied by a fresh panoply of guidance and secondary legislation which aims to streamline and clarify the provision of services by local authorities under this Part. More recently, the Children and Families Act 2014 introduced new assessments for young carers and for parent carers of disabled children, and the Care Act 2014 sets out the arrangements for children in need to transition to adult social care services when they reach the age of 18.

In recent years, the higher courts have been repeatedly called upon to determine the parameters of the duties owed by local authorities under Part III. The aim of this book is to bring together the legislation, statutory guidance, and case law relating to these duties and services and to provide some analysis of what is a fascinating and rapidly growing area of the law relating to children and young people.
In the first edition of this book, attention was drawn to areas in which the provision available to children in need in Wales differed from that available to their English counterparts. The law in this area is about to undergo seismic change in Wales. The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 is due to come into force in April 2016. This statute reforms the law relating to children and adult social care in Wales. Part VI of the new Act will replace Part III of the Children Act 1989 and the concept of a ‘child in need’ will no longer exist in Wales. As a consequence of the forthcoming changes and the timing of this edition, it has not been practically possible to include the detail of the new legislation, and nor would it be useful to make extensive references to the legislation as it currently operates in Wales. The majority of references to Welsh law have therefore been omitted from this edition.

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