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The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

General duty of authority

26.—(1) Every authority looking after a child shall—

(a)safeguard and promote his welfare; and

(b)make such use of services available for children cared for by their own parents as appears to the authority reasonable in his case.

(2) Before making any decision with respect to a child whom it is looking after, or proposing to look after, an authority shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, ascertain the wishes and feelings of—

(a)the child;

(b)his parents;

(c)any person who is not a parent of his but who has parental responsibility for him; and

(d)any other persons whose wishes and feelings the authority considers to be relevant,

regarding the matter to be decided.

(3) In making any such decision an authority shall give due consideration—

(a)having regard to his age and understanding, to such wishes and feelings of the child as the authority has been able to ascertain;

(b)to such wishes and feelings of any person mentioned in paragraph (2)(b) to (d) as the authority has been able to ascertain; and

(c)to the child’s religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background.

(4) If it appears to an authority that it is necessary, for the purpose of protecting members of the public from serious injury, to exercise its powers with respect to a child whom it is looking after in a manner which may not be consistent with its duties under this Article, the authority may do so.

(5) If the Department considers it necessary, for the purpose of protecting members of the public from serious injury, to give directions to an authority with respect to the exercise of the authority’s powers with respect to a child whom it is looking after, the Department may give such directions to the authority.

(6) Where any such directions are given to an authority, it shall comply with them even though doing so is inconsistent with its duties under this Article.

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