Children in Care

Department for Education written question – answered on 10th June 2019.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to local authorities on accommodation standards for 16 and 17 year olds in care.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Local authorities are responsible for commissioning sufficient accommodation to meet the needs of children in care and care leavers; and to ensure that this accommodation is ‘suitable’.

Suitable accommodation is defined in the Children Act Volume 2 guidance, which states that settings used to accommodate children in care should:

  • be suitable for the child in light of their needs, including their health needs;
  • ensure the responsible authority has satisfied itself as to the character and suitability of the landlord or other provider;
  • comply with health and safety requirements relating to rented accommodation; and
  • ensure the responsible authority has, so far as reasonably practicable, taken into account the child’s: wishes and feelings; and education, training or employment needs.

A copy of the guidance is available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/441643/Children_Act_Guidance_2015.pdf.

This definition of suitable accommodation also applies to settings used to accommodate care leavers aged 16 or 17.

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