A law has been introduced in the United Kingdom that bans unregulated support accommodation for children under the age of 16, which means it is still legal to settle children above the age of 16 in a non-care setting.
In 2018/19, more than 600 children under the age of 16 were placed in unregulated accommodations, whereas about 6,000 children aged 16 and 17 were placed in such accommodations.
Research by Together Trust shows that children placed in unregulated accommodations have worse educational outcomes; a great number of these children are not in education, employment, or training. Furthermore, these children have worse relationships and personal safety.
Campaigners say that the new regulation creates a two-tier care system, and does not guarantee older children’s right to safer and fuller care. Article 39’s request for a judicial review has been granted by the High Court; the hearing is due in December.