HC Deb 10 July 1941 vol 373 cc297-8
37. Mr. Lindsay

asked the Minister of Health, how many regional, and how many county welfare officers have now been appointed; and what are their respective functions?

Mr. E. Brown

Twenty welfare officers have been appointed on my regional staffs. The latest available information indicates that 48 welfare organisers have been appointed by county councils and 70 organisers and social workers by borough and district councils. Speaking generally, the regional welfare officers are concerned with the development of welfare work throughout the region, such as the provision of social centres, hostels and communal billets; the supervision of unaccompanied children in billets; the provision of occupational and recreational facilities; and guidance in individual cases presenting special difficulties. The county organisers are concerned with similar activities but their function is the administration within their county areas. There is in addition a very large number of voluntary workers, in the Women's Voluntary Services and other organisations, engaged in this work.

Mr. Lindsay

Would my right hon. Friend see that the excellent people who have been appointed do not overlap with one another and with similar officers who have been appointed by the Ministry of Labour and, to some extent, by the Board of Education? Could he arrange meetings so that the maximum benefit could be obtained from the work to be done?

Mr. Brown

So far as my regional welfare officers are concerned, once a county's arrangements are in running order the officer is there mainly for guidance, and my personal inquiries on the spot show that that guidance is appreciated. If my hon. Friend knows of any cases of overlapping, I will look into them.

Mr. Lindsay

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is overlapping?