§ Mr. Hannam
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he is satisfied with the support provided for parents who wish to continue to care for their severely physically and/or mentally handicapped children; and if he will make a statement;
(2) if he will list those area health authorities in England which in all or some of their districts provide adequate day and short stay emergency support for parents of severely mentally and/or physically handicapped children who wish to continue to care for them at home; what action he is taking to increase such provision; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Moyle
It is the Government's policy that whenever possible severely physically and/or mentally handicapped 23W children should live at home with their parents. Although much remains to be done, all health authorities, local authority social services departments and voluntary agencies are doing what they can, within the limits of current economic restraints, to help these children and their families in ways which will prevent long term admission to hospitals or local authority homes. These include the provision of day and short stay residential places; social work support; day fostering; day nurseries; and baby sitting services. In addition, attendance allowance, mobility allowance and invalid care allowance may be available. We are also sponsoring research to help answer some of the questions about the needs of these children and their families.