If you have been presented with a Section 20 agreement and are worried about what it means and what to do next, our family law team can help.
Watch this video to find out what Section 20 means, the options available, how you can withdraw Section 20 consent at any time and why you need the support of a family solicitor.
What is a Section 20 Agreement?
A section 20 is a voluntary agreement between you and the Local Authority. It’s essentially when the Local Authority knocks on your door and they want to remove the child from your care and place them elsewhere. It can sometimes be called a section 20 consent or voluntary accommodation. Although the Local Authority doesn’t share parental responsibility, it can sometimes feel like you don’t have a choice in the situation so it’s really important that you do take legal advice at the start when the local authority raise this.
Do I have to agree to a Section 20?
The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to agree to a section 20. There can be good reasons for agreeing to a section 20, such as when a parent is struggling or they need to deal with a specific difficulty in their life.
What happens if i don’t agree?
If you do not agree to section 20 and the Local Authority feel that your child should not remain in your care, then the Local Authority can apply to court for an interim care order or an emergency protection order.
Can I withdraw my consent and how?
If you’ve already signed a section 20 agreement, you can withdraw your consent at any time and ask that your child is returned back to your care. If the local authority does not think that this is the best thing for the child, then they can apply to court for an order.
What should I do next?
If your social worker has discussed a section 20 agreement with you, it’s really important that you speak with a family law solicitor to make sure that you understand what is happening and the options available to you and your family.
For more information, speak to our Family law team on 0151 236 8871 or use the contact form below