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The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Appointment of visitor for child who is not being visited

31.—(1) Where it appears to an authority in relation to any child whom the authority is looking after that—

(a)communication between the child and—

(i)a parent of his, or

(ii)any person who is not a parent of his but who has parental responsibility for him,

has been infrequent; or

(b)he has not visited or been visited by (or lived with) any such person during the preceding twelve months,

and that it would be in the child’s best interests for an independent person to be appointed to be his visitor for the purposes of this Article, the authority shall appoint such a visitor.

(2) A person so appointed shall—

(a)have the duty of visiting, advising and befriending the child; and

(b)be entitled to recover from the authority which appointed him any reasonable expenses incurred by him for the purposes of his functions under this Article.

(3) A person’s appointment as a visitor in pursuance of this Article shall be terminated if—

(a)he gives notice in writing to the authority which appointed him that he resigns the appointment; or

(b)the authority gives him notice in writing that the authority has terminated it.

(4) The termination of such an appointment shall not prejudice any duty under this Article to make a further appointment.

(5) Where an authority proposes to appoint a visitor for a child under this Article, the appointment shall not be made if—

(a)the child objects to it; and

(b)the authority is satisfied that the child has sufficient understanding to make an informed decision.

(6) Where a visitor has been appointed for a child under this Article, the authority shall terminate the appointment if—

(a)the child objects to its continuing; and

(b)the authority is satisfied that the child has sufficient understanding to make an informed decision.

(7) The Department may make regulations as to the circumstances in which a person appointed as a visitor under this Article is to be regarded as independent of the authority appointing him.

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