Children and Young Persons Act 2008
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The Act provides priorities for deciding where and with whom a looked after child should live. It makes explicit that placement with a parent is the number one preference. Placements with kinship carers should continue to take priority over unrelated placements. The Act also sets out that, as far as is practicable, placements should be near a child’s home and should not disrupt their education.
In addition, the Act:
- Strengthens and enhances the role of independent reviewing officers.
- Places a duty on schools to appoint a member of staff to promote the achievement of looked after children. This person is the ‘designated teacher‘.
- Extends local authorities’ duties towards care leavers. This includes those over 21 who returned to education or training.
- Strengthens local authority duties relating to visiting looked after children. Children’s services are required to arrange for a child to have an independent visitor where it is considered in the child’s best interests.