HC Deb 07 June 1972 vol 838 cc116-7W
Mr. Raison

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the number of residential child care service staff that would be required to implement their basic 45-hour week, with two days off and one long weekend per month and no split duties;

(2) how many vacancies exist at present within the residential child care service;

(3) what is the percentage of basic trained residential child care staff that obtained places on the advanced training courses in 1971;

(4) what is the present number of residential child care posts known to be filled by untrained staff;

(5) what is the present number of trained residential child care staff in residential posts.

Mr. Alison

The circumstances of particular children's homes vary too greatly for the number of staff needed to implement a 45-hour week to be calculated on a national basis. My hon. Friend will know that a study group report published in 1969 by the Residential Child Care Association gave some examples of suggested staffing ratios based on specific assumptions about size of home and nature of children's needs.

On 31st March, 1971—the latest date for which figures are available—there were in post in England in local authority children's homes, in approved schools and remand homes, and in those voluntary children's homes for which returns were received, 79 full-time care staff who held the Senior Certificate in the Residential Care of Children and Young People, 1,262 who held the basic Certificate, 755 who held qualifications in teaching or nursing, and 8,079 others. 2,686 posts in these establishments were not filled by full-time staff: 2,203 part-time staff were employed. The equivalent number of whole-time staff is not available.

Twenty-seven students from England—2.1 per cent. of 1,262—obtained places on advanced courses in 1971.