A child may only be kept by a Local Authority in secure accommodation for the purpose of restricting liberty if a Secure Accommodation Order is made by the Court and the child is accommodated by the Local Authority.
The threshold for the Local Authority providing secure accommodation for the child is that: –
- The child has a history of absconding and is likely to abscond from any other description of accommodation and resultantly, is likely to suffer serious harm; or
- If the child is kept in any other description of accommodation, he is likely to injure himself or other persons.
The Court must specify the length of an order, and in determining its length, the Court will have regard to the duty of the Local Authority to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child. The maximum length of the order is usually 3 to 6 months.
Local Authorities are not required to use secure accommodation. They are authorised to use it when necessary and may only do so for as long as the above criteria are satisfied. It is a serious order to restrict a child’s liberty and the child should not be detained for longer than necessary.
We offer free initial telephone consultations for all our clients and are able to provide free Legal Aid for many of our services. Please call our specialist Child Law Solicitors now on 0844 800 9860 or contact us online for advice.