April 18th, 2024 by James Goudie KC in Social Care

In R ( YVR ) v BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL ( 2024 ) EWHC 701 ( Admin ) the Court dismisses a claim for judicial review of the Council’s policy of charging for the provision of adult social care in the community. The Council was in exceptional financial difficulty. Its position to default to charging the statutory maximum was not manifestly without reasonable foundation.



March 14th, 2024 by James Goudie KC in Social Care

For there to be a deprivation of liberty, the individual has to be under constant supervision and control, and not be free to leave. Peterborough City Council v Mother ( 2024 ) EWHC 493 ( Fam ) holds that while a severely disabled 12 year old girl was undoubtedly under constant supervision and control, that was in order to meet her care needs, not to prevent her leaving her home, and so there was no deprivation of liberty in her case.



January 31st, 2024 by James Goudie KC in Social Care

When assessing whether an asylum seeker’s needs for which it was responsible under the Care Act 2014 included accommodation, a local authority should ignore any current or potential accommodation by SSHD under Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. The principles regarding the interplay between Section 95 and the National Assistance Act 1948 are applicable to the interplay between Section 95 and the Care Act 2914.

So held in R ( TMX ) v Croydon LBC ( 2024 ) EWHC 129 ( Admin ).



January 3rd, 2024 by James Goudie KC in Social Care

In R ( BC )v SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL ( 2023 ) EWHC 3209 ( Admin ) a challenge succeeded to the  Council’s refusal to provide suitable accommodation under Section 20 ( 1 )  of the Children Act 1989 to a 17 year old child as a “ child in need “ within their area. Once the criteria under Section 20 are met, the duty is immediate and unqualified. The authority must accommodate the child.It cannot resist the duty because of lack of resources, or because it considers that provision can or should be made under some other power, or because some other authority or body, such as the local housing authority, can provide accommodation under a different legislative scheme. The child was without suitable accommodation; and his mother was “ prevented “ from providing him with suitable accommodation. The widest possible scope must be given to this provision. It makes no difference whether the reason is one which the carer has brought about by her own act or is one which she was resisting to the best of her ability.


Accommodation for Asylum Seekers

October 31st, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Social Care

R (SB) v NEWHAM LBC and SSHD (2023) EWHC 2701 (Admin) concerns the interaction between a local authority’s obligations under the Care Act 2014 (“CA 2014”) and the obligations of the Secretary of State for the Home Department (“SSHD”) under s.95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (“IAA 1999”) in relation to the provision of accommodation to asylum seekers with eligible care needs.

CA 2014 is the applicable statutory scheme for the provision of social care for adults. Section 1 imposes on local authorities a general duty “in exercising a function” in relation to a person under the first part of CA 2014, to promote that person’s wellbeing. Section 1(2) defines a person’s wellbeing. Section 9 imposes a duty on a local authority to undertake a “needs assessment” where it appears to a local authority that an adult may have needs for care and support. In such circumstances, the authority must assess whether the adult does have such need and, if so, what they are. Read more »



September 21st, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Social Care

The Information Commissioner has issued Guidance on data protection consideration when sharing personal information for childcare purposes.  The theme is that data protection law permits information sharing in a fair and proportionate way when that is required (1) in order to identify children at risk of harm and (2) safeguard them from harm. Indeed appropriate information sharing is central to safeguarding children from harm effectively and promoting their wellbeing. Read more »



June 19th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Social Care

Part 1 of the Care Act 2014 relates to Care and Support. Section 1 sets out general responsibilities of local authorities. Sections 14-17 inc are concerned with charging and assessing financial resources. Section 14 gives authorities a power to charge. It provides for Regulations. They are the Care and Support ( Charging and Assessment of Resources ) Regulations 2014, S.I. 2014/2672. The Regulations are supplemented by Statutory Guidance. DRE is excluded from the assessment. In RW v WINDSOR & MAIDENHEAD RBC ( 2023 ) EWHC 1449 ( Admin ) the Court rules that group activities forming part of a vulnerable adult’s care plan, namely attending a local social and life skills support group, were DRE. The costs were (1) disability – related, (2) necessarily and reasonably incurred and proportionate, and (3) for care and support.


Age assessment guidance

January 18th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Social Care

In R (MA) v SSHD (2022) EWCA Civ 1663 the Court of Appeal holds that the SSHD’s Guidance relating to short-form age assessments conducted in a Kent intake unit for asylum seekers was lawful. The Guidance could be operated consistently with the Merton requirements for age assessments.

Guidance can be set aside only if it permits or encourages unlawful conduct. Permitting means something akin to sanctioning or positively approving, not merely that an action is not forbidden. The question is whether a policy authorised or approved unlawful conduct.

A public authority promulgating a policy is not required to include a detailed and comprehensive statement of the law in the area.


Whether discrimination in charging

January 12th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Social Care

In McCue’s Guardian v Glasgow City Council ((2023) UKSC 1 the Supreme Court held that the Council, in assessing the charge to be levied on a person in receipt of community services had not discriminated against the person by reason of his disability by refusing to allow deduction of certain items of expenditure, which he classed as disability related expenditure, when assessing his available means. The Supreme Court addressed unfavourable treatment, Section 15 of the Equality Act 2010, and Section 20 of  the Equality Act, reasonable adjustments. The appeal was concerned with the effect of the Equality Act in relation to the provision of community case services to disabled persons and the providing local authority’s entitlement to charge for those services. Lord Sales considered Section 15 at paras 54-63 inc and Section 20 at paras 64-76 inc.


Age Assessments

July 25th, 2022 by James Goudie KC in Social Care

In every case, when deciding whether an age assessment has been conducted consistent with the requirement of fairness, there is no substitute for testing the matter against the basic principle, by reference to (1) the circumstances of the case under consideration, and (2) whether (a)  the decision rested on reasonable investigation and (b) the investigation was undertaken fairly. So emphasized Swift J in HAM v Brent LBC (2022) EWHC 1924 ( Admin ). He added that the investigation requirement is likely to focus on whether any interview with the person was conducted to permit him  (i) properly  to contribute, and (ii) properly to respond to matters going to his credibility which the local authority considers weigh against his contention to be a child.