Care for every child in care

by Carolyne Willow

Care for every child in care

by Carolyne Willow
Carolyne Willow
Case Owner
Article 39 is a small, independent charity which fights for the rights of children living in institutions. Registered charity no. 1166092.
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Carolyne Willow
Case Owner
Article 39 is a small, independent charity which fights for the rights of children living in institutions. Registered charity no. 1166092.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Aug. 17, 2021

High Court gives permission for case to be be heard!

Excellent news! The High Court has today (17 August 2021) agreed that the grounds of the judicial review case are arguable.

Those grounds are:

Read more

Article 39 is a small children's rights charity in England.

We have applied to the High Court for a judicial review of secondary legislation made by the Department for Education. This states that children in care must always live in care settings – but only to the age of 15.  

This legal change, due to come into force in September 2021, will leave thousands of children in care aged 16 and 17 without protection. 

The government says that councils can continue putting children who are 16 and 17 into unregulated accommodation - shared houses, bedsits, flats and hostels.The Department for Education plans to develop national standards for these types of accommodation. But the standards will omit any requirement to provide care to children. That’s because establishments which provide both care and accommodation to children must register with Ofsted as children’s homes and meet existing quality standards.

This change to the law is discriminatory and an injustice to older children in care.

Boys and children from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are disproportionately put into unregulated accommodation.

It's the first time the law in England has distinguished where children in care can and cannot live on the basis of their age.

We need to raise £5,000 for this first stage. We will put this with the £14,000 we raised last year for another case protecting children in care - that led to the Court of Appeal finding that the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson had acted unlawfully.

Article 39 is represented by Oliver Studdert from Irwin Mitchell, Steve Broach from 39 Essex Chambers, and Khatija Hafesji from Monckton Chambers.

We are very grateful for any help you can give - by making a small donation and/or letting people know about this appeal. THANK YOU.

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Update 1

Carolyne Willow

Aug. 17, 2021

High Court gives permission for case to be be heard!

Excellent news! The High Court has today (17 August 2021) agreed that the grounds of the judicial review case are arguable.

Those grounds are:

  • That The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (Statutory Instrument 161) irrationally discriminate between children aged 15 and under, and those aged 16 and 17;
  • That Statutory Instrument 161 fails to have regard to specified equality needs. It discriminates against 16- and 17-year-olds on the basis of their age, and disproportionately impacts upon boys and children from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (who make up over half of children in unregulated placements, despite comprising 26% of the care population); and
  • Although the government did carry out a consultation, this was unfair as its focus was the provision of care for under 16s only.

THANK YOU everyone for your support. We couldn't do this without you. Please keep circulating our appeal. As soon as we know the date of the hearing, we'll post it here.

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