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Section 17

Under Section 17(1) of the Children Act 1989, local authorities have a general duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are In Need; and so far as is consistent with that duty, to promote the upbringing of such children by their families, by providing a range and level of services appropriate to those children’s needs.

For this reason, the term "Section 17" is often used as a shorthand way of describing the statutory authority for providing services to Children in Need who are not Looked After.

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