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The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

General

Duties of person carrying on children’s home

92.—(1) Where a child is accommodated in a children’s home, the person carrying on the home shall—

(a)safeguard and promote the child’s welfare;

(b)make such use of the services and facilities available for children cared for by their own parents as appears to that person reasonable in the case of the child; and

(c)advise, assist and befriend him with a view to promoting his welfare when he ceases to be so accommodated.

(2) Before making any decision with respect to any such child the person carrying on the home shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, ascertain the wishes and feelings of—

(a)the child;

(b)his parents;

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

(d)any person whose wishes and feelings the person carrying on the home considers to be relevant,

regarding the matter to be decided.

(3) In making any such decision the person carrying on the home shall give due consideration—

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

(b)to such other wishes and feelings mentioned in paragraph (2) as he has been able to ascertain; and

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

(4) Every person carrying on a children’s home shall, at such times and in such form as the Department may direct, transmit to the Department such particulars as the Department may require with respect to the children accommodated in the home.

Duties of an authority

93.—(1) Every authority shall satisfy itself that any person carrying on a children’s home which provides accommodation—

(a)within the authority’s area for any child; or

(b)outside that area for any child on behalf of the authority,

is satisfactorily safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the children so provided with accommodation.

(2) Every authority shall arrange for children who are accommodated within its area in a children’s home to be visited in the interests of their welfare.

(3) The Department may make regulations—

(a)requiring every child who is accommodated in a children’s home within an authority’s area to be visited by an officer of the authority—

(i)in prescribed circumstances; and

(ii)on specified occasions or within specified periods; and

(b)imposing requirements which must be met by any authority, or officer of an authority, carrying out functions under this Article.

(4) If an authority is not satisfied that the welfare of any child who is accommodated in a children’s home is being satisfactorily safeguarded or promoted, the authority shall—

(a)unless it considers that it would not be in the best interests of the child, take such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that the care and accommodation of the child are undertaken by—

(i)a parent of his;

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

(iii)a relative of his; and

(b)consider the extent to which (if at all) the authority should exercise any of its functions with respect to the child.

(5) Any person authorised by an authority may, for the purpose of enabling the authority to discharge its duties under this Article—

(a)enter at any reasonable time and inspect any children’s home;

(b)inspect any children there;

(c)require any person to furnish him with such records of a kind required to be kept by regulations made under Article 105 (in whatever form they are held), or allow him to inspect such records, as he may at any time direct.

(6) Any person exercising the power conferred by paragraph (5) shall, if asked to do so, produce some duly authenticated document showing his authority to do so.

(7) Any person authorised to exercise the power to inspect records conferred by paragraph (5)—

(a)shall be entitled at any reasonable time to have access to, and inspect and check the operation of, any computer and any associated apparatus or material which is or has been in use in connection with the records in question; and

(b)may require—

(i)the person by whom or on whose behalf the computer is or has been so used; or

(ii)any person having charge of, or otherwise concerned with the operation of, the computer, apparatus or material,

to afford him such assistance as he may reasonably require.

(8) Any person who intentionally obstructs another in the exercise of any power conferred by paragraph (5) or (7) shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

Persons disqualified from carrying on, or being employed in, children’s homes

94.—(1) A person who is disqualified (under Article 109) from fostering a child privately shall not carry on, or be otherwise concerned in the management of, or have any financial interest in, a children’s home unless he has—

(a)disclosed to the authority the fact that he is so disqualified; and

(b)obtained the consent of the authority in writing.

(2) No person shall employ a person who is so disqualified in a children’s home unless he has—

(a)disclosed to the authority the fact that that person is so disqualified; and

(b)obtained the consent of the authority in writing.

(3) Where an authority refuses to give its consent under this Article, the authority shall inform the applicant by a notice which states—

(a)the reason for the refusal;

(b)the applicant’s right to appeal against the refusal to a Registered Homes Tribunal under Article 103; and

(c)the time within which he may do so.

(4) Any person who contravenes paragraph (1) or (2) shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to both.

(5) Where a person contravenes paragraph (2) he shall not be guilty of an offence if he proves that he did not know, and had no reasonable grounds for believing, that the person whom he was employing was disqualified under Article 109.

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