Section 174 – Representations relating to certain children etc
439.Section 174 requires a local authority to establish a procedure for considering representations that relate to certain children and young people and those who look after them. It replicates to a large extent the provisions of section 26(3) to (3C) of the Children Act 1989 which are to be disapplied in relation to Wales. The representations that may be considered under this procedure fall into three categories:
Representations about the following local authority functions relating either to children looked after by the local authority or to children who are not looked after but who may have needs for care and support:
functions exercisable under Parts 3 to 6 of this Act (other than functions which are exercisable in relation to a child as a carer);
functions exercisable in relation to a child under Part 7 of this Act, and;
functions under Part 4 or 5 of the Children Act 1989 but specified in regulations.
Such representations may be made by the persons listed in subsection (3).
Representations about local authority functions under section 14F of the Children Act 1989 which have been specified in regulations. Section 14F provides that local authorities must make arrangements for the provision within their area of special guardianship support services (such as counselling, advice and information). Such representations may be made by the persons listed in subsection (4).
Representations about local authority functions under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 which have been specified in regulations and that are made by persons specified in subsection (5).
440.Subsection (6) requires the local authority to ensure that the procedure it establishes under this section guarantees that representations will be considered by at least one person who is not a member or officer of the local authority concerned and that one or more such persons will also participate in any subsequent discussions about the action to be taken. This is to ensure there is a sufficient degree of independence built into the process to ensure that the views of potentially vulnerable children and young people are given adequate weight. The regulations can disapply this requirement in situations where representations are being considered or discussed for the purposes of trying to resolve matters informally (see subsection (8)). Subsection (9) requires a local authority to publicise the procedure it establishes under this section.