Kent ‘must provide suitable housing’

Kent Council has been ordered by the High Court to provide suitable housing for a young offender after it had planned to place her in bed-and-breakfast accommodation on her release from custody.

The 16-year-old girl has now been placed with foster parents after the council received the order to provide a suitable care plan following her release from a secure training centre last week.

Her case is being supported by the Howard League for Penal Reform, which also issued legal proceedings against Doncaster Council, saying it had failed to draw up an adequate care plan for another 16-year-old girl, released from a secure children’s home last week.

The league’s assistant director, Chris Callender, said Doncaster had placed the girl with a foster family upon her release, but she had since left and it was unclear what support she was receiving.

He said the cases were the latest in a long line supported by the league, that highlighted councils’ misunderstanding of their obligations towards young offenders aged 16 to 18 who were in care before entering custody.

The charity is now pursuing a judicial review of the councils’ care of the teenagers.

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