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APPEAL COURT COURT DECISION ON HOMELESS FAMILIES

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Lambeth LBC and housing charity Shelter have welcomed the decision by the court of appeal to rule against a previou...
Lambeth LBC and housing charity Shelter have welcomed the decision by the court of appeal to rule against a previous appeal court judgement so that social services departments are able to use the Children Act to keep homeless families together.

A council spokesman said: 'This is a difficult, complex issue. Obviously we are pleased that the court found in Lambeth's favour but we are conscious that there may be further legal action so we can't make any more comment.'

Giving judgement on Friday the court of appeal reconsidered the correctness of the

court's decision in R (A)- v - Lambeth LBC. In issue is the question

whether a social services authority has power to help a family who is

intentionally homeless with its accommodation problems.

The judgment, supported by a summary, is available online .

Since last year's ruling, Shelter has been pressing the government to amend the Children Act to protect homeless families from having their children taken into care. In an Observer newspaper investigation last December, Shelter emphasised the devastation caused to families whose children were taken into care as a result of the ruling.

Ben Jackson, Shelter's external affairs director said: 'We welcome this appeal court decision but Shelter now wants the government to press ahead with an amendment to the Children Act to ensure families are no longer torn apart simply because they are homeless. Last year's judgement flew in the face of the Children Act's fundamental principle to keep homeless families together.'

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