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Children (Leaving Care) Act (Northern Ireland) 2002

Article 35 – Persons qualifying for advice and assistance

Paragraphs (1) to (3) restate the definition of “a person qualifying for advice and assistance” previously found in Article 35(2) and (3) of the Children Order before amendment by the Act. The term applies to any person who is under the age of 21 who was after reaching the age of 16, but whilst still under 18, looked after by an authority, accommodated in a voluntary or private children’s home or privately fostered. The term also applies to such a person who was accommodated for a consecutive period of 3 months in certain other establishments. This applies even if the 3-month period began before the young person reached the age of 16.

Paragraph (4) provides that in the case of a young person qualifying for advice and assistance, the authority which last looked after the young person must take such steps as it considers appropriate to keep in touch with him or her in order to discharge its functions under Articles 35A and 35B. This duty is intended to apply to those young people who leave care but do not qualify for the full package of support under the provisions of the Act.

Paragraph (5) defines which authority is to be responsible for providing aftercare services (the “relevant authority”) to a person qualifying for advice and assistance. Paragraph (5)(a) provides that the relevant authority for a care leaver is the authority which last looked after the young person. Paragraph (5)(b) provides that for any other young person qualifying for help under Article 35, the relevant authority is the one in whose area the young person is currently living.

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