Book Review: Local Authority Support for Children and Families

Julia Belyavin

This review is a guest post written by  Julia Belyavin, barrister at St John’s Chambers, Bristol.

Local Authority Support for Children and Families – Sally Gore (Family Law, 2011)

A one line review would simply say that this is a useful and clearly written book.

LA Support for Children & FamiliesTo begin to put the flesh on the bones, this book deals with the slightly awkward questions which don’t necessarily come up week in, week out, certainly for the majority of us, such as quite what duties a local authority has to a child who has at some point been in care (using the term loosely).  The end of that particular chapter has an excellent set of flowcharts and tables to help you work out the support to which the child in question is (or is not) entitled.


It’s very useful to have the relevant statutes, statutory instruments and case-law drawn together in one book and analysed carefully. The book helpfully highlights the areas where the law remains unclear and analyses the competing arguments in those situations.


The only area of LA support for children and families which isn’t dealt with in any great detail is support for children who either have disabilities or whose parents have disabilities.  Whilst references are made to the relevant legislation, there is not the same analysis and discussion as is presented for other areas of law.  However, it is fair to say that that is probably another book in itself.


The other topics (defining children in need, assessing children in need, age assessments, s20, looked after children, secure accommodation, leaving care and children in the criminal justice system) are covered clearly.  The chart which didn’t feel very helpful to me was actually reproduced from “Working Together to Safeguard Children”.  On the one hand, credit to Sally Gore that she wasn’t responsible for that flow-chart; on the other hand, I’m pretty concerned that someone somewhere did think it made anything much clearer.


That one chart aside, it is a useful addition to the family practitioner’s library.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Local Authority Support for Children and Families

  1. Looks good. It would be helpful to say whether the book relates to England only. The Jordans’ site also omits this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.