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Statutory visits to children with special educational needs and disabilities or health conditions in longterm residential settings

Statutory guidance for local authorities, health bodies and health or educational establishments

This is statutory guidance from the Department for Education. This means that recipients must have regard to it when carrying out duties realting to health and safety and security issues. The guidance covers safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people placed in residential schools, hospitals, and other residential establishments for consecutive periods of three months or more. This guidance does not apply to looked-after children.

‘Responsible local authorities’ are required to visit these children regularly, maintain contact, and intervene as appropriate when there are significant changes in their circumstances. Reports of such visits must consider whether or not the local authority should provide any services to support the continuing active involvement of the child or young person’s family in their life and what other steps it should take under the Children Act 1989 to safeguard and promote the child or young person’s welfare.
This guidance is issued under Section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970, which requires local authorities exercising their social services functions to act under the general guidance of the Secretary of State. Local authorities are required to act in accordance with this guidance unless exceptional reasons justify a variation.

Local authorities and health partners/agencies in England must also have regard to it when exercising their functions under section 10 of the Children Act 2004.
The guidance applies in relation to England only.