Host Organisation: Matthew Gold and Company Ltd.

Sally Inman

Sally joined Matthew Gold & Co. Ltd. Solicitors in January 2020, and is currently assisting with a caseload arising predominantly in community care and public law, working mainly in assisting destitute migrants families to access accommodation and financial support under the Children Act 1989.

Prior to joining Matthew Gold & Co, Sally worked as a paralegal at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors in the Personal Injury department. She also previously worked as a paralegal at Leigh Day in their Personal Injury department between 2017-2018.

Sally graduated from War Studies BA at King’s College London in 2014 and went on to achieve a distinction in her Legal Practice Course at BPP University in 2019.

Her motivation to pursue a career in law and particular interest in migrants’ rights began as a casework volunteer in the Article 8 Deportation Advice Project at Bail for Immigration Detainees in 2015. She gained further experience in immigration, housing, employment, debt and benefits issues whilst volunteering at the British Red Cross and Citizen’s Advice.

Project

Matthew Gold & Co have considerable experience representing families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) in accessing support from their local authorities under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. This project will be focussed on pre-litigation research looking into the process by which local authorities carry out assessments under s.17 to determine what support children in need and their families should receive. Currently there is no Government guidance in relation to how much financial support should be provided under section 17 and in practice it is often the case that local authorities provide families with the equivalent of section 4 asylum support rates (£35.39 per person per week) without properly assessing the needs of the child. The purpose of section 17 differs from the asylum support scheme in that it is not merely to avoid destitution but to promote and safeguard the welfare of children in need.

It is envisaged that the project will be carried out in partnership with charities working with NRPF families in order to gain insight into families' experiences of local authorities assessments and how families cope living on the amount of support they are provided. It is hoped that the project will gather information relating to the practices and policies of local authorities, raise awareness among the charity sector in relation to when issues experienced by families can be challenged and create potential opportunities for strategic litigation with a view to gaining more clarity as to how the needs of children should be assessed and provided for under the Children Act 1989.

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