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Children in Need: local authority support for children and families
Ian Wise QC, Steve Broach, Jamie Burton, Caoilfhionn Gallagher, Alison Pickup, Ben Silverstone and Azeem Suterwalla
Cover of Children in Need: local authority support for children and families
Second edition |  December 2013  | 488pp
ISBN: Pb 978 1 908407 41 2

‘Ian Wise and his colleagues have, in masterful fashion, incorporated the mass of new material which has emerged since the first edition and performed that difficult task so skilfully that the book has grown but little. It remains both comprehensive and accessible, a handbook for the real world.’ Lord Justice Munby, from his foreword.

Children are in need of support not due to any fault on their part but due to their circumstances. Local authorities have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and provide services to those 'in need'.

Children in Need is a comprehensive and accessible handbook that sets out the statutory obligations of local authorities to support vulnerable children and families, including children in, and leaving, custody, disabled children, migrant children and families, trafficked children and children leaving care.

Taking a rights-based approach, it analyses domestic and international law and sets out the entitlements to services and support that are all too often denied. Uniquely focused on the often-neglected Part 3 of the Children Act 1989, Children in Need combines authoritative guidance on the law with practical advice from a team who routinely act for children and their families in the court.

Children in Need  is up to date to include:

•    detailed coverage of the new guidance, Working together to safeguard children (2013) and its impact
•    analysis of recent key cases, including R (KO) v Lambeth LBC and R (VC) v Newcastle City Council
•    Case-law developments in respect of duties to migrant children and their families, following the judgment in Clue
•    details of the new National Standards for Youth Justice Services (2013)

Contents include:

- legal fundamentals
- age assessments
- services for children 'in need'
- duties and powers to accommodate children
- services for migrant children and families
- duties to children leaving care
- appendices: resources, extracts from legislation and guidance

Children in Need is essential reading for claimant lawyers, advocates, voluntary and statutory sector advisers, local authority lawyers and frontline staff, social workers and academics. It is intended to assist all those who work with and for children 'in need' and their families to understand and apply the law to the benefit of vulnerable children.


Children in Need is written by members of the Doughty Street Chambers public law team who routinely act for children and families in the courts.  Between them, they have acted in the vast majority of the key cases under Part 3 of the Children Act 1989 and the leading cases of recent years concerning children's rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Read more about the authors here

See the full contents here

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