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Children Act changes proposed

Ministers have proposed extending section 25 of the Children Act 1989 so that it covers cases where local authorities in England or Wales have placed children in secure accommodation in Scotland. The legislation, and its Welsh equivalent, currently only cover placements between England and Wales.

The changes have been tabled as part of proposed amendments to the Children and Social Work Bill going through parliament. Amendments to equivalent Scottish and Welsh legislation have also been proposed.

The move follows a High Court ruling in September in a test case where a 16-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy had been placed in secure units in Scotland due to no places being available in England. The court ruled that the care orders, which were made by the English courts, could not be enforced or recognised in Scotland.

Family court chief Sir James Munby, who oversaw the case, warned an urgent solution was needed as a shortage of secure accommodation placements in England meant more councils were turning to Scottish services.

Read the full piece at source: Children Act changes proposed after court ruling on ‘unenforceable’ care orders

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