MBC v AM & Ors (DOL Orders for Children Under 16) [2021] EWHC 2472 (Fam)

15 Sep 2021
England and Wales High Court (Family Division) Decisions

I am concerned with four cases which give rise to the same question of law in the context of the coming into force on 9 September 2021 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, which statutory instrument amends the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010.  The effect of those amendments is, in short, to prohibit the placement of a looked after child under the age of 16 in unregulated accommodation.  Within this context, the question of law before the court is whether it remains open to the High Court to authorise, under its inherent jurisdiction, the deprivation of liberty of a child under the age of 16 where the placement in which the restrictions that are the subject of that authorisation will be applied is prohibited by the terms of the amended statutory scheme. For the reasons set out in this judgment I am satisfied that the answer to that question is yes, subject always to the rigorous application of the President’s Guidance of November 2019 entitled Placements in unregistered children’s homes in England or unregistered care home services in Wales and the addendum thereto dated December 2020.

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