Local Authority duties
Every Local Authority (through their social services department) has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children living in their area.
The Children Act 1989 contains a range of duties and powers for local authorities to enable them to support children and families. One of the key provisions is section 17.
Section 17(1) imposes a duty on every local authority:
(a) to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need; and
(b) so far as is consistent with that duty, to promote the upbringing of such children by their families, by providing a range and level of services appropriate to those children’s needs.
This duty to provide services only applies to those children who fall within the statutory definition of a child in need.
A child is a child in need if:
(a) they are unlikely to achieve or maintain, or to have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision for them of services by a local authority under this Part;
(b) their health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without the provision for them of such services; or
(c) they are disabled.
The services provided by a local authority in the exercise of functions may include accommodation, assistance in kind and financial assistance.
If you need any advice with the Local Authority’s involvement with your family please contact us.
For all Child Care related matters contact us now on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7101 3090.