Commentary on Sections

Part 6 - Looked after and Accommodated Children

Section 98 - Independent visitors for looked after children

283.Section 98 requires a local authority to appoint an independent person to visit any child whom the authority looks after, if the child falls within a category specified in regulations made by the Welsh Ministers, or if it would be in the child’s interests.

284.A person appointed as a visitor under this section must befriend and advise the child and may claim expenses from the authority that have been incurred in the exercise of their functions under this section.

285.The independent visitor’s appointment comes to an end once the child ceases to be looked after by the authority; when he or she resigns; or if the local authority terminates the appointment. A visitor may not be appointed under this section if a child has sufficient understanding and objects to the making of such an appointment. If the child objects to having a particular visitor, the local authority is not required to appoint another person.

286.Regulations which may be made under subsection (9) may specify the circumstances in which a person is to be regarded as independent.