GET IN TOUCH : 01484 821 500

Secure Accommodation Order

Where the health and welfare of a child need to be monitored, an application can be made for a secure accommodation order to place them in a safe environment. The Family Court only makes Secure Accommodation Orders if the child concerned has a history of running away from home and is at risk of hurting themselves or someone else, and cannot be accommodated safely in any other form of welfare accommodation. Free advice and representation can be available for this sort of case through Legal Aid.

Applications for Secure Accommodation Orders are typically made by Local Authorities, (often referred to as Children’s or Social Services)and must include clear evidence of the child's actions, history, potential to cause or suffer significant harm, and whether that harm would be significant. Placing a child in secure accommodation for any other reason is usually considered a deprivation of a child’s liberty and against their human rights.Unless a deprivation of liberty is specifically permitted by a senior judge from the High Court it may be unlawful.

The child law experts at Ramsdens Solicitors can help you when an application for secure accommodation has been made. We provide professional legal advice on how you can navigate a situation where your child is being placed in secure accommodation and what you must do to remain compliant with the law. We can also advise you on what to do if you believe your child has been wrongfully placed in secure accommodation.

To speak to a solicitor about secure accommodation orders, contact Ramsdens Solicitors today by calling 01924 431 774, by sending us an email at care@ramsdens.co.uk, or by filling out an online contact form to request a call back.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF ISSUED WITH A SECURE ACCOMMODATION ORDER?

As a parent, it is essential that you understand and engage with the court's decision to make a Secure Accommodation Order, but you are entitled to contribute to the court hearing. The local authority should notify you of the court's application to secure your child, and you will be invited to attend a court hearing where their situation will be discussed.

While it can be a stressful process, you will have the opportunity to be heard and if appropriate to challenge and in certain circumstances appeal the court order. It would assist to seek the support of a professional child law solicitor who can provide you with the necessary advice and help.

If your child is placed in secure accommodation, you will be able to arrange visits to see them, and regular communication should be facilitated by the authority responsible for your child's welfare.If you do not receive communications about a secure accommodation order being placed on a child who you have parental responsibility for, or if you feel as though the authority responsible is not acting fairly or lawfully, you should speak to a solicitor immediately.

HOW CAN RAMSDENS HELP WITH SECURE ACCOMMODATION ORDERS?

If a secure accommodation order is being made regarding your child, we can help. Child law is a highly complex and sensitive area of law and must be handled with the attention to detail required. Ramsdens Solicitors has decades of experience dealing with cases where a child is threatened to be taken away from a family; therefore, we will be able to advise you on any factors that might support your case and the welfare considerations for the child or young person which the Local Authority is concerned.

It may not always be the case that we can completely block an accommodation order. However, on many occasions it may be possible to reduce the severity of the order and negotiate more time for you to be able to see your child. We may also be able to reduce the duration of the order.

Our team will also recommend resources or organisations that you can seek help and support from to meet any obligations imposed on you.

If an accommodation order is being made about your child, you should get in touch with us as soon as possible to have the best chance of doing something about it.

FAQS ABOUT SECURE ACCOMMODATION ORDERS

WHAT IS A SECURE ACCOMMODATION ORDER?

Secure accommodation orders are typically made by Social Services or other young person and child welfare authorities by applying to the family court. Secure accommodation orders are put in place to protect a child and those around them by placing them in a secure children's home.

Reasons for making a secure accommodation order include:

  • A child being at risk of causing significant harm to themselves or those around them
  • A child engaging in gang or other criminal activity
  • A child being at risk of grooming or sexual exploitation
  • A child having a history of running away from their home or accommodation placement and having a high chance of continuing to do so

WHAT IS THE SECURE ACCOMMODATION ORDER AGE LIMIT?

Under the Children Act 1989, a child or young person under the age of 16 can be placed in secure accommodation following a court order. For children already in the care of a local authority, they must be older than 13 years old.

HOW LONG WILL A SECURE ACCOMMODATION ORDER LAST FOR?

A secure accommodation order made for the first time will last no longer than three months, but further orders can last up to six months each time.

CONTACT US

Contact the experts at Ramsdens Solicitors for advice or representation today. Our child law experts can help you to understand and navigate any aspect of secure accommodation orders. We can apply for legal aid to advise and represent you free of charge.

Contact us by phone on 01924 431 774, by email at care@ramsdens.co.uk, or fill out an online contact form and we will be in touch.