On 12 November 2019 the Office of the President of the Family Division issued on my behalf new Practice Guidance to explain the registration and regulation structure applicable in England and, separately, in Wales for residential care facilities for children and young people: Practice Guidance: Placements in unregistered children’s homes in England or unregistered care home services in Wales (opens in a new tab).
As noted in the Practice Guidance, the number of applications made for a court in family proceedings to authorise a residential placement of a young person in circumstances where their liberty may be restricted had increased markedly in recent times. This continues to remain the case, and the Practice Guidance remains in force and should be followed by courts.
This document is an addendum to the 2019 Practice Guidance.
The Practice Guidance sets out steps that must be followed in circumstances where an application is made to the court for an order under the court’s inherent jurisdiction to authorise the deprivation of the liberty of a child. This addendum provides an additional required step as follows: the court must include in any order approving the placement of a child in an unregistered placement, a requirement that the local authority should immediately notify OFSTED (England)- if the placement is in England- or the Care Inspectorate Wales – if the placement is in Wales- and provide them with a copy of that order and the judgement of the court.
The email addresses for the purposes of such notification are:
- Ofsted: EYRegulatoryandSocialCare@ofsted.gov.uk
- Care Inspectorate Wales: CIWLocalAuthority@gov.wales
Guidance issued by Sir Andrew McFarlane
President of the Family Division