§ Mr. Hooley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action has been taken on recommendations 224–227 of the Finer Committee (p. 518–19).
§ Mr. O'Malley
The issues raised by these recommendations affect wider groups, not one-parent families alone. They are the subject of research or action in this wider context. Studies of the social services now in progress and recently revised arrangements for the collection of statistical information about children in care may enable more light to be thrown on the scale of the problems of certain special groups. A considerable expansion of the existing prison accommodation for mothers with small children is in hand. Health and local authorities are now setting up the joint consultative committees which they are required by the National Health Service Reorganisation Act to appoint to ensure close co-operation between their services. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has invited the Community Relations Commission to undertake a study of the special social needs of ethnic minority groups. The study will embrace discussions with those responsible for local authority services and will be followed by any necessary discussions between Departments centrally.