Section 20 Agreement

What is a Child Arrangement Order

If Children Services are concerned about your child, they may ask you to sign a Section 20 Agreement to place your child in the care of the Local Authority, temporarily. This will often be in Local Authority Foster Care or if deemed safe with a suitable family member or a friend. Wherever possible, in the first instance the Local authority should aim to place the child with a family member. This is often referred to as a child being Accommodated or a looked after child.

It is important to note that this a voluntary agreement and contingent on the parents’ consent. The consent can be withdrawn at any point by the parents. Voluntary agreements should only be for a short period of time.

What happens if you do not sign the agreement, or if you withdraw your consent at a later stage?

If Children Services have concerns in relation to the care being provided to your child, and due to the concerns, they want to place your child in Local Authority care, to avoid any delay, they may ask you to sign the section 20 agreement. If you refuse, then they may at that stage issue an application to the Court to obtain an order to remove your child from your care and place the child in foster care or with family members. These proceedings are referred to as “Care Proceedings”. If you sign the agreement, but later withdraw your consent, then at that stage the Local Authority may issue Care Proceedings to obtain an order from the court to place your child back in Local Authority Care.

Before signing the agreement, it is strongly recommended that you seek legal advice as to whether you should agree to this agreement or not. You should also make sure that you are able to fully understand what you are agreeing to.

We pride ourselves on being friendly and approachable so if you need advice from one of our friendly solicitors, please do get in touch by calling 0208 889 3319 or via one of the options below.

The first introductory call is free and enables you to outline your circumstances and for us to explain how we can help. Our team are friendly and approachable and are always happy to answer your questions.

Have a question about our services, please use our online form to send us an email.

If you need to speak with someone you will always receive a friendly welcome if you telephone between the hours of 9am-5pm but if we are closed, you can  request a callback. We will call you back as near to your requested time as possible.

Related Posts

Grandparents Rights: Do Grandparents have a right to see Grandchildren?

Grandparents Rights: Do Grandparents have a right to see Grandchildren? For most grandparents, grandchildren are a blessing to be loved and cherished, for children, grandparents are an extremely important part of their life. Extended family that can help to build, [...]

Go to Top