16 year old on a section 20

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Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 10:46 pm

16 year old on a section 20

Post by Smithy » Thu Jun 30, 2022 2:08 am

My 16 year old is on a voluntary section 20 in a foster placement. Can anyone please advise me specifically what kind of things i can have a say in while he's in the placement? As ive been told i still have parental responsibility, does this mean i can have a say in where or if he stays out overnight and curfew etc. I ask this as im very worried as he has been affiliated with gangs and taking and dealing drugs. I was working very hard to put firm rules and boundaries in place and limiting free time on streets and encouraging positive activities. Although in his foster placement there seems to be very few rules and expectations and hes allowed to spend all his free time hanging on the streets and stay out whenever or wherever he chooses. I would appreciate any help and advice

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: 16 year old on a section 20

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jul 04, 2022 2:00 pm

Dear Smithy,

Welcome to the parents’ forum and thankyou for your post. I am sorry to hear how worried you are about your son and I hope that the following advice is of some help.

You are correct to say that you still retain parental responsibility as your son is being accommodated by children’s services under a voluntary arrangement (also known as a Section 20 arrangement).

You ask whether you can have a say in decisions that are made about his care, in particular to do with rules and boundaries. The law says that children’s services should find out your wishes and feelings before making decisions about his care. They should then take these wishes and feelings into account before putting making decisions which should be outlined in his care plan. They have duty to agree the care plan with you (and anyone else with parental responsibility). You can find more information about this on our website here.

You can find advice here about how to raise concerns about your child’s placement and care. I would suggest that you raise any concerns you have with both the social worker and the Independent Reviewing Officer. You could do so either at the next Looked After Child Review meeting or ask to discuss this with them before if there is not a meeting scheduled for a while. If you feel that your concerns are not being listened to then you may wish to consider making a formal complaint. Please see our website here for guidance regarding complaints.

We have detailed information and advice about voluntary arrangements in general on our website here which you may find helpful.

I hope that this is helpful. If you have any further queries then please post again or call our free confidential helpline on 0808 801 0366 (Monday to Friday, 9:30am – 3pm) to speak with an adviser.

Best wishes,

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