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Julie Stather examines the recent use of section 20 and considers its future in the light of the impending 26 week limit for care proceedings.
“Section 20(1) has long been the section of the Children Act 1989 most likely to give rise to differences of opinion. Give a room full of lawyers a set of pertinent facts to work from and half of them would advise the parents to agree to s20 accommodation and the other half would advise them to fight it tooth and nail. This article examines the recent use of s20(1)(c) and the efforts of the judiciary to give guidance about that use, and considers what the future may hold in the increasingly tightly regulated world of care proceedings.”