§ 54. Mr. Robert Howarth
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress is being made by local authorities with preventive work under Section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1963.
§ Miss Bacon
The Section came into operation on 1st October, 1963, and the first progress reports furnished by local authorities under Section 1(4) covered 119W the period to 30th June, 1964. Further information, from reports covering the period to 31st March, 1965 (31st July, 1965, for the new London boroughs) will be available later in the year.
From the first reports it appears that authorities are directing their efforts mainly to the following matters:
- (1) Co-ordination between local authority departments is being strengthened. This is recognised to be of the first importance since measures taken by health, welfare, education and housing committees under other enactments contribute materially to diminishing the need to receive children into care or bring them before a court, which is the object of Section 1 of the Act of 1963.
- (2) Co-operation between the local authority and other statutory and voluntary agencies has also Deen strengthened. Reports describe improved consultation with the National Assistance Board, the police, the probation and after-care service, the churches and numerous voluntary organisations. Grants to voluntary organisations have been increased. In most areas a central index of families receiving help has now been set up by the local authority.
- (3) The staffs who work with families in their own homes are being expanded. Schemes of training in household management are being further developed.
- (4) At 30th June, 1964, 69 local authorities had provided one or more family advice centres, and more were planned.
- (5) Schemes for assistance in kind or, exceptionally, in cash, are being further developed, as are schemes for assisting families to obtain or retain accommodation by guaranteeing the rent.