This statutory document seeks to improve outcomes for looked after children and young people by providing guidance on the implementation of section 22G of the Children Act 1989 (‘the 1989 Act’). This section requires local authorities to take steps that secure, so far as reasonably practicable, sufficient accommodation within the authority’s area which meets the needs of children that the local authority are looking after, and whose circumstances are such that it would be consistent with their welfare for them to be provided with accommodation that is in the local authority’s area (‘the sufficiency duty’).
The sufficiency duty requires local authorities to do more than simply ensure that accommodation be ‘sufficient’ in terms of the number of beds provided. They must have regard to the benefits of securing a range of accommodation through a number of providers. The accommodation must also meet the needs of children. These needs can be wide-ranging, in line with the typology which underpins the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families.