voluntary accommodation

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Accommodation provided by a local authority for children whose parents are temporarily unable to look after them or for children who have been abandoned. (It is important to distinguish between a child who is being accommodated by a local authority and a child who is the subject of a care order.) The purpose of a local authority in supplying accommodation is to support children in need and their families; it is not a means for the local authority to gain control of the child against the parents' wishes. The local authority does not acquire parental responsibility for a child who is accommodated; parents with parental responsibility must consent to their child being accommodated and may remove the child without notice and without the consent of the local authority. This is in contrast to a child who is the subject of a care order, where the local authority acquires parental responsibility for that child and may act against the parents' wishes.

Subjects: Law.

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