To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to require local authorities seeking to place looked-after children outside their own area to consult the local authority where a placement is being sought.
The Children’s Homes and Looked After Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2013 placed additional duties on local authorities seeking to place children out of the authority’s area.
Under the amended regulations, any decision to place a child outside of the local authority’s area must be approved by a nominated officer, or, if that placement is a distant one, by the Director of Children’s Services. The regulations further require that when considering making a distant placement, the responsible authority consults with the host authority, and shares information including the child’s care plan.
It should also be noted that local authorities do place looked-after children in boarding schools from time to time, where it is considered in the child’s best interests. Boarding schools, by their nature, can be outside the responsible local authority’s geographic area.