A safe placement for children who abscond from care and put themselves or others at risk cannot always be achieved by a secure accommodation order. The child’s circumstances may fall outside s.25 CA 1989 or the intended placement may not be a secure placement approved by the Secretary of State. In those circumstances the court will have to consider whether the intended placement involves a deprivation of the child’s liberty. This will be unlawful under Article 5 ECHR unless approved by the court as a necessary and proportionate response to the child’s needs.

Many members of chambers have been involved in deprivation of liberty cases at first instance and appellate level. These have included cases where placement has been achieved in England/Wales but also those where the child has been placed in Scotland but where a statutory route to secure accommodation under s.25 CA 1989 is not available.

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