Section 20 Agreements – Voluntary Accommodation
What is Section 20 – Voluntary Accomodation?
‘Voluntary Accommodation’ is used where the local authority is concerned that a child cannot be looked after safely at home, resulting in them asking permission for the child to be looked after under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989.
If someone does have parental responsibility for the child they can voluntarily allow the local authority to accommodate their child. Voluntary accommodation is typically with local authority foster carers or a family member (such as a grandparent) who has been approved by the local authority.
A section 20 agreement does not include any involvement from the Court and signing the agreement does not mean you hand over parental responsibility of the child to the local authority. However, if the local authority has contacted you about a voluntary accommodation, we would recommend seeking legal advice as soon as you can before the local authority or police take further action.
At Rotheras our child care team have a wealth of experience in assisting and advising families who have received a section 20 voluntary accommodation.
Why use Rotheras when you have received a Section 20 Voluntary Accommodation?
We can go over the section 20 agreement with you to make sure you fully understand the terms and implications of the agreement before you sign it.
We can advise you if you don’t agree with the section 20 agreement, including what further steps the local authority might take against you.
We can offer guidance where you wish to withdraw your consent and the local authority has ignored your attempts to withdraw consent or not made it clear how you can withdraw consent.
We can offer Legal Aid where eligible.
We can liaise with the local authority and other parties on your behalf.
We have a network of four offices across Nottingham that can advise you in relation to child care proceedings.
We can advise families on the whole process of a section 20 agreement, including any assessments the local authority might undertake if they plan to issue an application to the court.
In situations where the parents and local authorities are able to work together, we can advise the parents on changes they can make to ensure their child is returned to them.
We can help you with:
- Voluntary accommodation
- Withdrawing consent to voluntary accommodation
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"Impressive group with expertise in both matrimonial finance cases and children matters. A strong childcare team handles cases involving physical and emotional abuse, as well as fatalities. Well versed in matters with international aspects, Hague Convention cases, as well as adoption and guardianship issues.
Chambers UK, 2018
Anton Balkitis frequently represents the operators of both goods and passenger vehicles in court proceedings. Clients remark: "He has a commercial understanding of real-life issues and will always provide a balanced view
Chambers UK, 2019
Impressive group with expertise in both matrimonial finance cases and children matters. A strong childcare team handles cases involving physical and emotional abuse, as well as fatalities. Well versed in matters with international aspects, Hague Convention cases, as well as adoption and guardianship issues.
Chambers UK, 2018
Chris Powell at Rotheras was recommended to us by a trusted associate within the Transport Industry; without doubt we wouldn’t have had the excellent outcome we did without his and his team’s involvement. The level of professionalism, expert advice and assistance was faultless; we felt reassured and well informed throughout the whole process. It was a pleasure to do business with him and would highly recommend his services!
Julian Brindley - John Brindley Ltd
The team at Rotheras, and Mr Powell in particular, have provided us with an outstanding service. We are extremely grateful for the help and support they gave us in dealing with issues relating to our transport operations and our goods vehicle operators licence. Mr Powell was professional, knowledgable, efficient and effective. He quickly understood our business and the problem we had. He responded with sensible advice and acted quickly on our behalf to resolve the matter. I cannot thank him enough for his help and I would recommend Mr Powell, and the Rotheras team, without hesitation. I am extremely grateful for the help they gave us.
Richard Hitchcock - Hitchcock & King
I would highly recommend James Briggs, solicitor at Rotheras. He has been extremely helpful, patient and thorough whilst helping me with affairs following the death of my husband. Even during lockdown (covid) he maintained communication and kept me informed of what was happening. He successfully achieved the outcome I needed and I would not hesitate to recommend him.
We are in the middle of launching our own packaging agency and contacted Rotheras for some professional legal advice with regards to contracts. After an initial call with Billy, he made it clear what we needed and asked plenty of questions to understand what it was we needed. He was very responsive to our questions, whether it be over the phone or via emails and made the process really simple. We had little experience in this area so it was fantastic to work with Billy, who explained everything concisely. We were also really pleased with the quick turnaround and great value offered. Would thoroughly recommend working with Rotheras.
Tom Burden, Director of Rightbox Ltd
Billy understood our requirement from the get go and really nailed down on what we needed in our commercial agency agreement. Billy kept us informed every step of the way and showed great professionalism. We would recommend his services to any start-up business who is in need of legal advice and guidance with commercial contracts.
Axl Barber, Sales Director of Rightbox Ltd
I was extremely pleased with the service that Kerry provided in order to sell my mothers house. Good, prompt communication and all questions dealt with or answered as requested. Consequently I would recommend yours services to others.
Anton has substantial experience acting for commercial goods hauliers and other transport operators. He advises on a range of contentious issues including operator licence, maintenance and tachograph matters, with a wealth of experience acting in public inquiries before Traffic Commissioners."Anton is a highly informed and personable lawyer.
Chambers UK, 2020
Chris Powell focuses his practice on road transport issues, regularly representing haulage, transport and logistics companies. He has considerable experience in regulatory matters involving operator licences and compliance failings, as well as more serious criminal investigations relating to fraud.
Chambers UK, 2020
Dear Sally, I can’t thank you enough for today! You took the pressure off me and I felt so looked after and understood everything that was happening. Thank you so much!
Ann-Marie Bowman is Partner and Chairwoman of Nottingham based law firm Rotheras. Ann-Marie remains highly committed to her fee-earning work in Family law, dealing with all aspects of children matters.
Sally Hartland is a Family, Matrimonial and Child Law specialist based at our offices in The Lace Market. Sally specialises and regularly represents both parents and grandparents in care proceedings.
Ruth specialises in all aspects of family law and since 2010 she has been an accredited specialist in private law children matters and in domestic abuse where urgent protective remedies are required.
Rebecca Lister is a Solicitor within our Family Department and specialises in children and child care proceedings, regularly representing parents during care proceedings.
Chris specialises in children matters and provides support to Ann-Marie Bowman.
Jasmine Jackson is a Solicitor in Rotheras’ Family and Child Care department and is based at our Lace Market Office.
Skyler Broadhead is a Senior Paralegal in Rotheras Solicitors Child Care department and is based at our Lace Market office.
Beccy Rodham is a Senior Paralegal in Rotheras Family Law department and is based at our Lace Market office.
Emily Sherwood is a Trainee Solicitor in Rotheras’ Family department and is based at our Lace Market office in the heart of Nottingham City Centre.
We’re Recruiting: Telephone Receptionist
An opportunity has arisen to join our team as a Telephone Receptionist. This person will be the first point of contact for all inbound telephone enquiries.
We are looking for a friendly and cheery person who has excellent communication skills. You will be dealing with clients on the telephone, taking messages and passing calls on to other members of staff.
The role is full-time, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and can be based at our office in The Lace Market in Nottingham or at home or a mixture of the two (hybrid working).
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This guide is intended to be a short, no-nonsense crib sheet for External Transport Managers. It is by no means comprehensive, but it does flag up some of the more common issues that can ultimately lead to problems with the Traffic Commissioner.
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