Question It!

Welcome to another week.

Controversial S.20 Agreements, meant for placing children in local authority accommodation where child protection concerns exist but which have been illegally used to take children into care, are now on the Supreme Court’s radar.

After the Court of Appeal ruled that there was no duty on councils to get parental consent for these agreements, the family involved in this case appealed the decision, and the Justices at the Supreme Court have now granted permission to challenge the ruling.

Section 20 Agreements have been so badly abused by social workers that in April of this year an investigation was launched, which aimed to look at how and why these agreements were being used to coerce families and children into child protection proceedings.

The ruling by the Court of Appeal also contradicts the President of the Family Division’s own guidelines, released in 2015, which explicitly state that parental consent must be obtained for any S.20 Agreement.

At Researching Reform we take the view that parental consent must be a basic ingredient of any Section 20 Agreement, which is by its nature a voluntary arrangement. Failure to secure that consent, to our mind, renders the agreement null and void precisely because it is a voluntary arrangement, which expressly implies a need for consent.

Just as critically, failure to obtain consent acts as a gateway to abuse, allowing social workers to coerce families into child protection proceedings. It is this lack of transparency, and consent, that has led to councils being able to use S.20 Agreements to break the law and take children from parents.

But that’s just one view.

Our question then, is just this: do you think parental consent should be a legal requirement for S.20 Agreements?

A very big thank you to Michele Simmons for alerting us to this development.

Questions

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10THOUGHTS ON “QUESTION IT!”

  1. Yes consent for a S20 is a must but we still have the problem of Social workers lying about how they obtained a S20. its very common for them to use threats of calling the Police etc but later deny any such thing.
    how do you combat that when its your word against theirs unless you record the event. most parents dont even think of that.

    Like

  2. If section 20 is voluntary then by definition it must come about because the parents wish it and therefore consent must be obtained.
    The secrecy should be abolished so that parents know exactly where their children are living and with whom. Indirect contact (email,text or phone) should be unlimited between parents and children and whatever contact is agreed should be unsupervised.
    Section 20 would then becomze a useful repite tool for parents instead of being the first stage in splitting up parents and children permanently.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Musings of a Penpusher and commented:
    It’s reassuring to learn that reform is always possible and that powerful bureaucracy is not beyond the law so justice prevails eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Who the hell does the State / Local Councils think they are, taking children as property from their parents?

    Especially when we KNOW that it’s far more often policy rather than ‘grateful parents consenting’???

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on tummum’s Blog and commented:
    At Researching Reform we take the view that parental consent must be a basic ingredient of any Section 20 Agreement, which is by its nature a voluntary arrangement. Failure to secure that consent, to our mind, renders the agreement null and void precisely because it is a voluntary arrangement, which expressly implies a need for consent.

    Just as critically, failure to obtain consent acts as a gateway to abuse, allowing social workers to coerce families into child protection proceedings. It is this lack of transparency, and consent, that has led to councils being able to use S.20 Agreements to break the law and take children from parents.

    But that’s just one view.

    Our question then, is just this: do you think parental consent should be a legal requirement for S.20 Agreements?

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