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LOCAL AUTHORITY: R (M) v Barnet London Borough Council [2008] EWHC 2354 (Admin)

Date:6 AUG 2008

(Queen's Bench Division Administrative Court; HHJ Michael Kay QC; 6 August 2008)

The child had sought accommodation in a refuge, alleging abuse by the father. The father denied the allegations, and they were unsubstantiated by the police investigation. The parents' position had been that they were ready, willing and able to care for the child and wanted her to return home, although shortly before the hearing they suggested that they no longer wished her to return. The authority had already taken the view that the child was being accommodated under s 17, not under s 20, and was not, therefore, either a looked after child or an eligible child entitled to support after she turned 18.

It had not been irrational for the authority to find that the reason the child needed accommodation was that she did not wish to live with the parents, rather than that parents could not provide suitable accommodation.