The Ministry of Justice have produced a document collating information on the use of Remand to Local Authority Accommodation (‘RLAA’). This has been released as an Annex to the June 2022 MOJ circular following the amendments to the Youth Remand Framework made by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.
The Annex can be accessed here.
The Annex helpfully sets out the information required when a court is considering remanding a child to Local Authority Accommodation. The Annex begins by stating some general rules regarding the use of RLAA, such as:
“Local Authorities are responsible for identifying and covering the cost of a RLAA placement, and for being satisfied that it is suitable for the child in line with the guidance.”
“Any person acting on behalf of that LA can lawfully detain the child. The youth justice service, i.e. Youth Offending Team, has a statutory duty to support children on RLAA.”
“The child becomes a Looked After Child and there is statutory guidance for LAs about care planning and placement of such children. This includes a requirement to have a placement plan, health plan and personal education plan and to ensure the placement is as least disruptive to their education/training as possible.”
It thereafter provides further considerations on the use of RLAA, organised into the following sub-headings:
- Conditions that can be imposed on a child on RLAA;
- Further detail on accommodation;
- Breach of RLAA;
- Differences between RLAA and RYDA;
- RLAA and Custody Time Limits;
- RLAA and Time served;
- Differences between RLAA and Bail, or Bail with Intensive Supervision and Support (ISS);
- Child with Looked After status; and
- Children who gain Looked After Status from RLAA.
The Annex also provides the basis of the information via footnotes, so practitioners can examine the source of the information in statute or guidance.
This is a critical guide for practitioners to ensure they are aware of the intricate details of the RLAA regime.
Written by Robbie Elyes, Solicitor at Just for Kids Law