HC Deb 03 December 1970 vol 807 cc1438-9
2. Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement on the level of recruiting and the adequacy of training facilities for the Child Care Service.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Mark Carlisle)

During the 12 months ending 31st March, 1970, the number of child care officers employed by local authorities in England and Wales increased from 3,223 to 3,550, and the number of trainee officers from 368 to 444. The number of persons awarded the Letter of Recognition of the Central Training Council in Child Care was 519 last year, and will be about 660 this year. My right hon. Friend has approved plans to increase this to 850 in 1971–72, as a step towards a target of 1,100.

Mr. Judd

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply. Would he not agree that there is still a great deal of concern in this important profession about the shortage of staff to do the work adequately in view of increasing responsibilities? Would he not also agree that if we are to have adequate staff for this important social job, conditions of service and pay must be given priority?

Mr. Carlisle

I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman that the implementation of parts of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1969, will inevitably put further burdens on child care officers. It is estimated by the local authorities that their establishments at 31st March, 1971, will be 650 more than they were the year before, but there is no reason to regard such an increase as impossible of achievement. What the hon. Gentleman said in his second question clearly applies to all people in public work.

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