Publication - Advice and guidance

Scotland's Children - The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 Regulations and Guidance: Volume 1 Support and Protection for Children and Their Families

Published: 12 Oct 2004
Part of:
Communities and third sector
ISBN:
0748058214

Guidance and regulations on the Children (Scotland) Act 1995

111 page PDF

765.3 kB

111 page PDF

765.3 kB

Contents
Scotland's Children - The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 Regulations and Guidance: Volume 1 Support and Protection for Children and Their Families
Page 9

111 page PDF

765.3 kB

Scotland's Children
The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 Regulations and Guidance
Volume 1 Support and Protection for Children and Their Families

Chapter 8 Short-term Refuges for Children at Risk of Harm

1. Local authorities and persons carrying on residential establishments may provide short-term refuge in designated or approved establishments and households for children who appear to be at risk of harm and who request refuge. Refuge will provide children with somewhere safe to stay and access to advice and help for a short period in order to resolve the crisis which led to the child seeking refuge and to reconcile him or her with family or carers or to divert the child to other suitable services or accommodation.

Section 38

2. The main features of this provision are as follows

  • provision of refuge may only be given where a local authority or authorised provider is satisfied that a child appears to be at risk and the child requests it
  • while a child is being provided with refuge certain enactments concerning "harbouring" and related offences are disapplied
  • refuge may be provided for a period of up to seven days or, in exceptional and limited circumstances, for a maximum of fourteen days
  • a voluntary or independent organisation operating an establishment registered under section 61 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 may, if approved for the purpose by the local authority to provide refuge in the registered residential establishment.

This provision is distinct from the other duties conferred on local authorities to protect children and refuge should not be provided as an alternative to exercising their other responsibilities and powers under the Act.


Forms of refuge

3. There is statutory provision for three forms of refuge. Where it appears to a local authority that a child is at risk of harm they may, at the child's request, provide him or her with refuge in a residential establishment controlled or managed by them, if that establishment is designated by the local authority as a suitable place of refuge. Alternatively the local authority may designate the household of a foster family or other approved carer as a suitable place of refuge for a child at risk of harm and arrange for the foster carer or approved carer to provide the child with refuge in their household. The local authority may also approve the use of a registered residential establishment run by a voluntary or private agency for the purposes of providing refuge for children. The owner or staff of such an approved residential establishment may provide a child with refuge at the child's request, if the child appears to be at risk of harm. All forms of short-term refuge are subject to The Refuges for Children (Scotland) Regulations 1996.

Section 38(1)(a)(i)

Section 38(1)(a)(ii)

Section 38(1)(b)


Children seeking refuge

4. Children may seek refuge in response to many different problems. They may be in conflict with their families, or being abused or neglected, or distressed by their present circumstances. They may already be living away from home in accommodation provided by a local authority. They may be troubled by difficulties at school, problems with drugs or alcohol, pregnancy or offending. Refuge services should be able to respond promptly and sensitively to the wide range of problems which cause children to run away and seek refuge from those looking after them.


Period of refuge

5. A child may be provided with refuge for a period not exceeding seven days. In exceptional circumstances prescribed in the Regulations (see paragraph 6 below), refuge may be extended for a period not exceeding fourteen days. During these periods none of the enactments in force relating to harbouring of children under sixteen will apply to persons providing the child with refuge.

Section 38(5)

Section 38(3) & (4)

6. The prescribed exceptional circumstances, in which a period of refuge may be extended beyond seven days, for up to fourteen days, are where

  • a responsible person in relation to the child has not been found within a period of seven days from the first day on which the child was provided with refuge
  • at the end of that period of seven days the local authority do not at that time have suitable accommodation for the child.

Regulation 11

7. If these circumstances persist beyond a total period of fourteen days the local authority should make other appropriate arrangements for the care of the child. The authority may provide accommodation for the child. The child would then be looked after by the local authority.

Section 25
Section 17


Legal status of children in short-term refuge

8. The legal status of children in short-term refuges does not change because they are being provided with refuge. They are not looked after by the local authority unless they are already looked after by virtue of a supervision requirement or any order, authorisation or warrant under Part II of the Act. Any measures which apply to the child, such as a supervision requirement, remain in force. The child's parents retain parental responsibilities and rights in respect of him or her, although their capacity to exercise these is limited during the seven day period of refuge. When the local authority arranges for a person to provide refuge for a child in an approved and designated household, the child shall not be regarded as a foster child for the purposes of the Foster Children (Scotland) Act 1984 solely because they are provided with refuge.

Sections 1 & 2


Notifications required when a child is given refuge

9. Any person who provides a child with refuge in an approved voluntary or independent establishment is required to notify

  • the local authority in which the refuge is situated
  • the authorised officer, being a police constable (at the local police station)

of the child or young person being given refuge in their establishment as soon as reasonably practicable, and, in any event, within twenty-four hours of the child being provided with refuge.

Regulation 8(4)

10. When giving notification of providing a child with refuge in their establish-ment, the person providing refuge should also notify the local authority and the authorised officer of

  • the name and last permanent address, if known, of the child admitted to the refuge
  • the name and address of any responsible person or persons in relation to the child as far as he or she has been able to obtain this information
  • a telephone number at which he or she may be contacted by the local authority or the authorised officer.

Regulation 8(4)

If the person providing refuge later discovers information about the child's address or family which was not previously known, he or she should inform the local authority and the authorised police officer as soon as possible.

Regulation 8(7)

11. A local authority which provides refuge, or arranges for a person to provide refuge in a designated household, should as soon as reasonably practicable and, in any event, within twenty-four hours of the child being provided with refuge, notify the authorised officer of the child's admission to their establishment or designated household. The local authority should provide the authorised officer with the information listed in the previous paragraph.

Regulation 8(6)

12. Notifying the authorised officer that a child is being provided with refuge ensures that police time is not wasted in searching for a child or young person reported missing. Children who seek refuge are likely to be missed from their home or accommodation at an early stage and may be reported to the police as missing. Where a family has reported their child missing and the authorised officer is notified that the child is in a place of refuge, he or she should alert the local police in the area in which the child normally lives. The police can then inform the child's family that the child is being provided with refuge. Local authorities and the police should jointly consider local arrangements for the notification of the authorised officer in relation to places of refuge in their area

13. Local authorities should ensure that any designated or approved establishments and households in their area have the name, address and contact telephone number of a designated officer in the social work department whom the person providing refuge should notify of any child's admission to their establishment or household. The person providing refuge should also know how to contact the social work department's emergency or out-of-hours service in order to inform the local authority that a child is being provided with refuge and to obtain advice and social work help, if necessary.


Definition of a "responsible person"

14. For the purposes of this section and related Regulations, a "responsible person" in relation to a child means

  • a parent of the child
  • a person who is not a parent of the child but who has parental responsibility in respect of the child
  • any person who ordinarily has charge of, or control over, the child

unless another person has care of the child as mentioned below

  • any person (excluding a local authority) who for the time being has responsibilities as respects the child by virtue of an order made, or authorisa-tion or warrant granted, under Chapters 2, 3 or 4 of Part II of the Act
  • any local authority looking after a child in terms of section 17(6) of the Act
  • any person (including a local authority) providing accommodation to a child looked after by a local authority by any of the means specified in section 26 of the Act.

Regulation 2(1)


Notifications in writing

15. Where a local authority has provided or arranged refuge for a child, or are notified by a person providing refuge for the child in an approved residential establishment, the local authority must inform in writing as soon as reasonably practicable

  • a responsible person in relation to the child
  • the local authority in whose area the child had his or her last permanent address, that the child has been admitted to a refuge.

Regulation 8(8)

16. Written notifications are required to inform these parties that the child is being provided with refuge. The local authority are not required to inform the responsible person of the location of the place of refuge, and may decide not to do so if there is any reason to suspect that this would place the child, other residents or the person providing refuge at risk of harm. The local authority should take into account the views and wishes of the child, the person providing refuge and the need for places of refuge to be protected, when deciding whether to inform a responsible person, the child's family or any other party of the location of the place of refuge.

17. Notifications should include the provision in the Act under which refuge is provided and the address and telephone number of the social work department of the local authority in which the refuge is situated, from whom they may seek further advice and information. The local authority should also ask the child's family to provide a contact telephone number for the person providing refuge so that he or she, or the child, may contact the family directly. The social work department should also make direct contact with the family, either by telephone where a number is available or by visiting the child's home address. If the child and his or her family live in an area covered by another local authority then the child's home local authority should establish contact with the child's family as soon as possible.

18. If the child is already looked after by a local authority which is not the local authority for the area in which the refuge is situated, the local authority should notify the child's home authority, as a responsible person, as soon as reasonably practicable. In these circumstances, notification should be given within twenty-four hours of the child's admission to a refuge, and confirmed in writing as soon as possible thereafter.

Regulation 8(8)


Other matters

19. The 1996 Regulations contain details of the arrangements for issue of certificates of designation or approval of establishments and households, requirements upon persons to notify the local authority of information about changes in their circumstances, and the circumstances in which the local authority may withdraw designation or approval. The Regulations allow local authorities flexibility in determining their criteria for designating and approving places of refuge, and discretion, in individual cases, in deciding whether to withdraw a certificate of designation or approval under the relevant circumstances. These are self-explanatory and local authorities should refer directly to the relevant Regulations.

Regulation 7

Regulation 8(2) & 8(3)

Regulation 10


Providing Refuge

The decision to provide refuge

20. The local authority or other persons in approved establishments may decide to provide refuge for a child in circumstances where, for example

  • the child has run away from his or her current carers, either family members or local authority accommodation and there are no other safe adults amongst his or her family or friends with whom he or she can stay
  • the child would be at risk of harm if refuge were not provided
  • the local authority is not immediately able to assist the child by the exercise of other duties or powers under the Act.

21. The risk to which the child appears to be exposed might relate to the situation from which he or she is seeking refuge, such as bullying or victimisation by peers, or it might result from risks he or she would run if refuge were not provided. The local authority may not have sufficient information to exercise other statutory duties or powers, or the child may be unwilling to make use of other services or help before being given refuge. Providing a period of short-term refuge enables the local authority to gather relevant information and help the child decide the best course of action.

22. A child may not ask for short-term refuge using precisely those words but may approach adults with a general request for help. When the child asks for help the person receiving the request should

  • explore with the child the nature of the problem which has led to him or her seeking help
  • find out whether what the child is asking for is short-term refuge
  • find out whether and in what way the child is at risk of harm
  • consider, with the child, whether any other forms of help may be more appropriate
  • seek and take into account the views and wishes of the child about what should happen.

If the child is clearly asking for refuge rather than other forms of help and would appear to be at risk of harm were refuge not provided then the local authority, or any person who owns or manages an approved establishment, may offer the child refuge.

23. A child aged eleven years or under should normally be provided with short-term refuge in an approved household, with a foster carer or other approved carer, rather than a residential establishment.

24. There is a distinction between children using refuge provision and those in ordinary residential or foster placements. Most children in refuge will return to their homes and families with support from other agencies, including the local authority where necessary. Some children who are at risk of significant harm within their families may be subsequently looked after by virtue of a supervision requirement or other order under the Act. Others may be offered accommodation by the local authority. The local authority should take care to ensure that by providing refuge they do not increase the likelihood that the child will drift into a longer-term placement in local authority accommodation.

25. If a responsible person in relation to the child has been found the local authority may not extend the period of refuge. A child may only remain in refuge without their parent's consent, or that of the responsible person, for a maximum of seven days. The local authority should then seek other arrangements for the care of the child or facilitate the child's return to his or her family.


When parents do not consent to refuge being provided

26. When a child has been provided with refuge the local authority must notify a responsible person in relation to the child. If the responsible person holds parental responsibilities and rights and does not wish the child to remain in the refuge, and the child does not want to return home, the local authority must decide whether the child would be at risk of harm if he or she returns to the care of the responsible person. They may decide to take one or more of the following courses of action

  • if the local authority have cause to believe or suspect the child would be at risk of significant harm they should apply for a child protection order or child assessment order
  • if they think the child would be at risk of harm, and the child wishes to remain, they may keep the child in a place of refuge for up to seven days
  • if they think there may be a need for compulsory measures of supervision in respect of the child, the local authority should refer the case to the Principal Reporter
  • if the local authority do not think the child would be at risk of harm they should help the child to return to the care of the responsible person.


Planning for the end of the refuge period

27. Before the seven day period ends the local authority or the person providing refuge in an approved establishment must decide, with the child and his or her family, what to do next. In exceptional circumstances they may decide to extend the period of refuge. If this does not apply the local authority may do one or more of the following

  • help the child return to his or her family or other carers
  • take action under other sections of the Act to protect the child from significant harm

Sections 55, 57 & 76

  • provide the child with accommodation

Section 25

  • provide services to the child or his family under the provisions for children in need

Section 22

  • refer the case to the Principal Reporter.

Section 53

28. Local authorities may provide refuge for a child more than once if the criteria for providing refuge are met. However if a child repeatedly asks for refuge this indicates that the child is experiencing problems with which he or she needs more sustained help. If a local authority have provided refuge for a child on two or more occasions, the responsible local authority should consider with the child and his or her family or carers, what other services and support may be provided to reduce the likelihood of the child running away in future. The local authority should identify with the child the risk of harm to which he or she is exposed and take action to address this. If it does not appear that the child is at risk of harm, the local authority may not provide him or her with refuge.


Providing sixteen to seventeen year olds with refuge

29. The local authority may provide young people over sixteen with accommoda-tion and services, if this would safeguard and promote their welfare, without requiring their parents' consent. This may be a more appropriate means of meeting their needs than providing short-term refuge. Offences of harbouring and provisions for the protection of children at risk of significant harm or supervision of children, on the grounds of lack of parental care or other grounds involving risk of harm, do not apply to sixteen and seventeen year olds unless they are already looked after by virtue of a supervision requirement made by a children's hearing or are referred to a children's hearing by virtue of other provisions. Short-term refuge may be provided to sixteen to seventeen year olds who have run away from local authority accommodation.


Section 25(7)

Section 93(2)(b)

Section 33


Children who need protection

30. In some cases when a child asks for refuge it will be evident that he or she is in need of care and protection because of neglect or abuse within his or her family. If a child asks for refuge directly from a person who provides refuge, other than the local authority, that person should explain to the child that, in order to ensure the child's safety, he or she must seek help from the local social work department. Staff and carers in designated or approved establishments and households should be familiar with local child protection procedures and know whom to contact when they believe that a child may be in need of protection.

31. Where a local authority believes a child to be at risk of significant harm they should consider exercising their other responsibilities and powers under the Act. When a child has approached the local authority directly and asked for refuge and it appears to the local authority that the child is being so treated (or neglected) that he or she has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm, or that he or she may be in need of compulsory measures of supervision, the local authority should cause inquiries to be made into the case. If necessary, the local authority may apply for a child protection order, or other court order, or refer the case to the Principal Reporter.

Section 53


Responsibilities of different local authorities

32. The responsibility for assisting the child and providing any services for the child and family which may be needed, during and after the period of refuge, rests with the local authority in which the child is ordinarily resident. This will be the authority for the area in which the child's family or usual carers live, unless the child is looked after by another local authority. In that case the authority which looks after the child remains the responsible authority. The responsible authority may ask the authority in which the refuge is situated to assist by undertaking inquiries or interviewing the child on their behalf.

33. When a local authority needs to exercise its powers to protect a child in refuge who is believed to be at risk of significant harm, the local authority in which the refuge is situated should agree with the child's home local authority, which of the authorities should apply for a child protection order, or other court order, in the first instance. In all cases the paramount consideration is to secure the safety and welfare of the child. Which authority initiates action may depend on whether the home local authority has previous knowledge of, or contact with, the child and his or her family, the distance of the refuge from the child's home area and any other relevant circumstances, including the capacity to implement the order, if granted, within the required period of twenty-four hours. Where the local authority in which the child is being provided with refuge makes the application, if an order is made, the child's home local authority should assume responsibility for looking after the child as soon as practically possible. Any referral to the Principal Reporter should be made to the Reporter in the local authority area in which the refuge is situated. The Reporter will make arrangements for any children's hearing to be held at an appropriate location, taking into account the circumstances of the case and in discussion with Reporter colleagues from relevant areas where more than one local authority is involved. Where the child is believed to be at risk of harm in their own family, the child's home local authority should establish contact with and interview the child's parents or carers as a matter of urgency.

Section 60

34. If there is a need to determine which local authority is the responsible local authority in respect of a child, the guidance relating to "ordinary residence" applies. 1


Help for Children in Short-term Refuge

35. The role of the local authority or any other person providing refuge under this section of the Act is to provide the child with somewhere safe to stay and any other services consistent with safeguarding the child's welfare.

36. In order to be an effective service for vulnerable children, places of refuge need to have available persons who are skilled in communicating with children in distress and who are able to help children make sensible decisions about their next course of action. They should be aware of the responsibilities of social work, health, education and the police, other local services for children and the role of the Reporter and the courts, and any other sources of help and advocacy available to the child, according to the range of problems which prompt children to ask for refuge.

37. The local authority or the person providing refuge should establish contact with the child's parents or home local authority at an early stage and begin discussions with all parties about how to resolve the problems which have caused the child to run away. In order to protect the integrity and safety of the refuge for all children placed there, meetings between the child and family or local authority or refuge staff and family in which refuge is being provided. This should not prevent the possibility of direct contact between any of these people if this is in the child's interests. If necessary, the local authority in which the refuge is situated, or the child's home authority, should assist by providing facilities in which the child and/or refuge workers can meet with the child's family or carers if this is desirable. If the child's home authority is at some distance from the refuge, direct contact there may not be practicable but they may be able to provide transport or other assistance to parents or family members, or other carers, to meet with the child and/or the person providing refuge. members should not take place in the establishment or household

38. The local authority social work department should maintain close links with those providing refuge services in their area. When the local authority is notified that a child has been admitted to a refuge run by a voluntary or independent agency, they may arrange for a social worker to talk to the child to find out whether the local authority should offer help to the child or family, unless the person providing refuge is satisfied that this is not necessary.


Rights of children and parents

39. Children should not be required to disclose detailed information about their circumstances as a condition of access to a refuge. A child or young person in crisis will want speedy and easy access to a safe place. Staff will need to balance the need for information to assess the risk of harm to a child with the need to ensure that admission processes do not discourage vulnerable children from seeking help.

40. Parents and families may be worried about their child and should receive information and help to resolve any family problems which may have led to their child seeking refuge. Existing refuges have found that the majority of parents will allow their child to remain in refuge whilst problems are tackled as long as they are assured that the child is safe and well looked after whilst away from home. If a child runs away from accommodation provided by a local authority who is looking after him or her, that local authority should inform the child's family that he or she has run away. The child's family should be involved in any subsequent planning for the child.

41. The local authority cannot keep any child in refuge who no longer wishes to remain there. If it appears to the local authority that the child would come to harm if he or she left the refuge, they should consider whether to apply to a sheriff or refer the case to the Reporter.


Seeking refuge from local authority accommodation

42. If a child is looked after by a local authority and has run away from accommodation provided, the local authority who looks after the child should ensure that he or she has an opportunity to talk to an independent person about his or her reasons for running away. The child should not be compelled to talk to carers from the accommodation from which he or she has run away, or his or her usual field social worker, before he or she has had a chance to talk to an independent person. Some local authorities have Children's Rights Officers who might take on this role. The local authority which looks after the child may arrange for a social worker from the authority in which the place of refuge is situated to talk to the child, or make use of an independent advocate from a voluntary organisation concerned with children's rights. The child should feel that the person is properly independent of his or her placement as far as is practically possible

43. Worries about victimisation or bullying by adult carers or peers should be taken seriously. No child should have to return to a local authority placement in residential or foster care if he or she is afraid to return. Allegations made by the child about abuse by adult carers or peers should be fully investigated under the responsible local authority's child protection procedures. If the problem which has led to the child running away from local authority accommodation cannot be resolved within the normal period of refuge then the local authority which looks after the child must make alternative arrangements for his or her care. Where a child is unwilling to return to his or her original placement the local authority should treat this as a complaint by the child, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so, and the complaint should be investigated under the home local authority's statutory complaints procedure. Even if the child does return to his or her previous placement, he or she should be given information about the local authority's complaints procedure and any necessary help to pursue a complaint if he or she wishes. No officer of the local authority should investigate any complaint about any of his or her own actions.


Designation or Approval of Establishments and Households

Local authority establishments

44. A local authority may designate a residential unit which they control or manage for the purpose of providing refuge to children. The 1996 Regulations require that the local authority satisfy itself that the establishment has suitable accommodation and facilities in which to provide refuge for a child, that the officer in charge of the establishment is a suitable person to have responsibility for a child and that appropriate services are available to the child whilst he or she is taking refuge in that establishment. The local authority should take into account the following matters when deciding whether to designate an establishment as suitable for the provision of refuge

  • the nature and size of the accommodation available
  • the functions and objectives of the residential establishment
  • the numbers, qualifications and deployment of staff.

Regulation 3(a)

Regulation 4

45. Local authorities may decide to designate one or more places in an existing residential children's home or unit as places which may be used for children seeking refuge. If the establishment offers longer-term care for children who are looked after by the local authority, the local authority should consider whether the aims of the establishment are consistent with the provision of temporary refuge for children in crisis. Vulnerable young people already resident in the home or unit may find their routines and relationships disrupted by a rapid turnover of other young people entering their home in crisis. The needs of children placed in refuge will differ from the needs of children who are looked after and have a care plan. The needs of both should be kept in focus within a single setting.

46. Children seeking refuge will need a confidential service. It may be more difficult to protect the identity and location of a child in a short-term refuge in a local children's home, particularly in small authorities or rural areas. In some instances, the child may be seeking refuge from other accommodation provided by the local authority. In others, parents or other family members may go to the children's home to look for the child.


Households designated by the local authority

47. A local authority may arrange for a person, whose household is approved by virtue of section 5(3)b of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 and designated by the local authority for the purposes of refuge, to provide a child with refuge under this section of the Act. This requires that the household be approved under the Fostering of Children (Scotland) Regulations 1996 (Fostering Regulations 1996).

Regulation 3(b)

47. Before placing any child in a household for short-term refuge, the local authority should obtain information about the person and other members of his or her household and family, interview the person and be satisfied that he or she is a suitable person with whom to place children and that appropriate services are available to any child taking refuge in that household. The local authority may designate approved foster carers as suitable to provide refuge or designate households and approve persons specifically for the purposes of providing short-term refuge to children at risk of harm as long as such approval complies with the requirements of the Fostering Regulations 1996.

Schedule 1 of Fostering Regulations

Regulation 4

48. A child may not be placed in a household which has not been approved under the Fostering Regulations 1996, and designated for the purposes of refuge. It would not be practicable for the local authority to satisfy itself of all the particulars detailed in the Schedules to the Regulations, and complete the necessary criminal records checks, within the period of seven days allowed for refuge. Where it seems appropriate to the local authority to place a child with a relative or friend, who is not already an approved foster carer, the authority may do so under other provisions of this Act, having regard to all the circumstances of the case. At any time, the local authority may designate the household of an approved foster carer as suitable for the purpose of providing refuge where they are satisfied as to the matters specified in regulation 4 of the Regulations.

Section 26

49. Only the local authority may arrange for a child to be provided with refuge in a household. Persons providing refuge in households approved by the local authority will require supervision, training and support, consistent with that for emergency foster carers, to cope with the immediate needs of children and young people in crisis. The local authority will have to judge to what extent persons providing refuge in their household are equipped to work directly with the child and his or her family to resolve the problems that caused the child to run away. They should take into account the safety and welfare of any children and other family members in the household when deciding whether to inform a responsible person of the address of the household.


Voluntary or independent residential establishments

50. The local authority may approve the use of an establishment, or part of an establishment, run by a voluntary organisation or any other person, for the purpose of providing short-term refuge for children at risk of harm. The establishment must be registered by the local authority as suitable to provide personal care and support for the purposes of the 1968 Act. The person who runs the registered establishment should apply to the local authority in writing for approval to provide refuge. The local authority should make such inquiries as they see fit as to whether the person is a suitable person with whom children could be placed for the purposes of short-term refuge. The local authority's inquiries should use the same criteria for approval of an establishment as they would apply if designating one of their own establishments as suitable for refuge

Regulation 5

Section 61(2) Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968

51. A person who carries on or manages an approved residential establishment may provide a child with refuge without seeking the permission of the local authority. They have a duty to notify the local authority and the police of the child's admission to the refuge as soon as reasonably practicable and should work closely with the responsible local authority in helping the child to tackle the problems which have caused him or her to run away.


Inspection and review

52. Local authorities should visit residential establishments designated or approved for the purpose of providing refuge to children in accordance with the requirement to inspect their own and other, registered, establishments. While it is up to local authorities to determine the number of visits per establishment, two visits per year is the normal minimum requirement. Concurrently, they should review whether the establishment continues to be suitable for the purposes of providing short-term refuge having regard to the matters specified in regulation 4.

Regulation 9

53. The local authority should review whether a person whose household is approved for the purpose of providing refuge remains a suitable person to provide refuge in his or her household and should notify the person of their decision in writing. Intervals between reviews should be not more than one year.

Regulation 9

1 Circular No. SWSG 1/96