HC Deb 29 April 1976 vol 910 cc138-9W
Mr. Kilfedder

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many children and young persons are on the waiting list for places in residential homes in each of the area boards.

Mr. Concannon

Following is the information:

Area Board Number at 13th April 1976
Northern Nil
Southern Nil
Eastern 20
Western 2

Mr. Kilfedder

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he is satisfied with the number of residential places for children and young persons; and whether there are any places for increasing the provisions of residential houses in the Province.

Mr. Concannon

While the provision of residential places is only one indicator of the size of the problem, the Province as a whole is reasonably well provided with residential accommodation for children and young persons for the purposes of the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968. There are, however, shortages of accommodation in certain areas and this problem is particularly acute in parts of Belfast.

The board's plans for the next five years provide for more than 200 additional residential places in children's homes. The need for the future, however, is to improve the quality and range of facilities as well as to provide new accommodation, and the number of new places could be offset by up to a half owing to a loss of places from closing or reorganising some existing establishments.