Commentary on Sections

Section 178 – Assistance for persons making representations

449.Section 178 provides that a local authority is under a duty to make arrangements to provide assistance to children who make representations under sections 174 and 176 respectively. The local authority must give publicity to these assistance arrangements. This provision replicates the provision in section 26A of the Children Act 1989 (which is to be disapplied in relation to Wales). The assistance provided under this section must include assistance by way of representation and will therefore provide for advocacy support in the making of representations. This is in order to assist vulnerable children and young persons to make their representations. Regulations must be made about these arrangements for assistance. The regulations must require local authorities ensure that certain people or categories of people are prevented from providing the assistance. The regulations may also impose other requirements, such as a duty on the local authority to monitor the steps it takes to comply with the requirements imposed by or under section 178.