Section 97 - Duty of local authority to ensure visits to, and contact with, looked after children and other children
280.Section 97 imposes a duty upon a local authority to ensure visits to, and contact between, a representative of the authority and a child it looks after; a child it used to look after; or other categories of children specified in regulations which may be made under subsection (2). The local authority’s representative must arrange for the provision of advice, support and assistance to the child. The regulations made under this section may also make provision about the frequency of visits; the circumstances in which visits can take place; and the functions of representatives.
281.Subsection (6) requires a local authority to ensure that its representative has the appropriate skills and experience to perform the functions.
282.This section largely restates provision made by section 23ZA of the Children Act 1989; however the regulation making power within subsection (1)(c) also permits the Welsh Ministers to specify in regulations additional categories of children to whom the duty provided for within this section would apply and subsection (2) requires such regulations to make provision about which local authority is responsible for discharging the duties in relation to such children.