§ Mr. Magee
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will set up an inquiry into the working of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969, bearing in mind particularly the difficulties which arise from the shortage of residential placements for children who are on remand or who are subject to a care order which can result in their being sent home or being certified by the court as unruly as a means of getting them accommodated in prison establishments.
§ Dr. Owen
I share my hon. Friend's concern about the shortage of residential places both for remand purposes and for long-term treatment. The provision and planning of community homes for children, including children on remand, is the responsibility of local authorities and is co-ordinated by children's regional planning committees—representing the local authorities in each region—set up under the Act. I shall shortly be inviting the chairman of these committees to discuss the experience gained in the first year of the operation of the regional plans, which were approved in April 1973, including the difficulties that have been experienced in placing children. They will no doubt also wish to discuss the412W question of finance for the construction of new homes and we shall be pleased to do so.