§ Mr. Newens
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many local authorities permit the natural parents of children in care and the children themselves, when they are old enough to understand the proceedings, to attend the statutory six monthly reviews of children in care; and if he will issue a circular recommending all local authorities to follow this practice.
§ Sir George Young
This is not the subject of returns to the Department. But in all decisions relating to a child in its care, a local authority is required, so far as practicable and having regard to his age and understanding, to give due consideration to the child's wishes and feelings; and I am advised that, as part of these reviews, an increasing number of authorities now consult both the natural parents and the child. My right hon. Friend has no plans to issue a circular on this matter.