12. The term 'child' or 'children' refers to persons who have not yet attained the age of 18 years as stated in section 97(1) of the 2014 Act.
13. There are 2 categories of child who fall within the definition of an "eligible child". The first category is 'a child who the local authority considers to be at risk of becoming looked after' (section 71(5)(a) of the 2014 Act). The local authority must determine whether or not a child is at risk of becoming looked after.
14. In determining whether a child is at risk of becoming looked after, a local authority must consider whether the child's wellbeing is being, or is at risk of being, adversely affected by any matter, such that the child is at risk of becoming looked after (article 6 of the 2016 Order).
15. The second category of child who falls within the definition of an "eligible child" is a child who was previously looked after (article 5 of the 2016 Order).
16. A person may be appointed as a guardian of a child under section 7 or section 11 of the 1995 Act. Under section 7, a child's parent may appoint a person to be a guardian for a child in the event of a parent's death. Under section 11, a court may also appoint a guardian in a wider range of circumstances; for example, these orders are commonly used when a parent is in prison, experiences illness or is absent. The court can specify which parental responsibilities are imposed and which parental rights are conferred on the guardian.
Looked after child
17. The definition of a 'looked after child' is set out in Section 17(6) of the 1995 Act, as amended by the 2007 Act and the 2011 Act. A child is 'looked after' by a local authority when he or she is:
- provided with accommodation by a local authority under section 25 of 1995 Act; or
- subject to a compulsory supervision order or an interim compulsory supervision order made by a children's hearing in respect of whom the local authority are the implementation authority (within the meaning of the 2011 Act); or
- living in Scotland and subject to an order in respect of whom a Scottish local authority has responsibilities, as a result of a transfer of an order made outwith Scotland under regulations made under section 33 of the 1995 Act or section 190 of the 2011 Act; or
- subject to a Permanence Order made after an application by the local authority under section 80 of the 2007 Act.
Looked after away from home
18. Looked after away from home refers to children who are looked after by a local authority and placed in accommodation, other than with their parent/s. This is also sometimes described as 'looked after and accommodated'. This includes looked after children who are in foster care, residential care, residential schools, secure care and kinship care. This can also include looked after children placed with prospective adopters.