Council receives judgment from Family Court
Herefordshire Council has received a judgment from Family Court, which highlights specific past failures in the application of section 20 of The Children Act 1989 (which applies to Looked After Children and their parents). Herefordshire Council deeply regrets these past failings and has changed its practice to reduce the likelihood of similar cases occurring in future. Herefordshire continues to work to keep children in Herefordshire safe and give them the best start in life.
Director for Children’s Wellbeing, Chris Baird said:
“In the past, Herefordshire Council has lacked a consistent focus in achieving permanency for children held under section 20 of The Children Act. We undertook a comprehensive review of our practice during 2016/17 and developed new guidance and processes to ensure children's needs are appropriately met.
“Herefordshire Council now has a clear approach to managing and reviewing children admitted to care under section 20, which involves legal advice at the start and ensures children do not remain under section 20 for extended periods.”
Mr Justice Keehan acknowledged the recent changes in our approach which should reduce the likelihood of similar cases in future and was positive about the current approach in Herefordshire.