§ Mr. Newton
The average cost of keeping a child in care is available in the personal social services statistics published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy for the year 1981–82.
On the question of the average allowance per child paid to foster parents, I commented on this matter in reply to a question from the hon. Member for Stockport, North (Mr. Bennett) on 24 February 1983.—[Vol. 37 c. 579.]
§ Mr. Stallard
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied that he has sufficient powers within existing legislation to issue special regulations to secure the welfare of children in residential care homes, nursing homes and mental nursing homes.
§ Mr. Newton
[pursuant to his reply, 25 March 1983, c. 517.]: In relation to voluntary and private residential homes currently registered by local authorities under the Residential Homes Act 1980, the Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudications Bill currently before Parliament proposes changes in the registration and inspection arrangements, and in the powers of the Secretary of State to make regulations. We shall shortly be consulting on the content of the proposed regulations, which will include special provision for the welfare of children. A copy of the consultation document will be placed in the Library.
In relation to private nursing homes and mental nursing homes registered by district health authorities under the Nursing Homes Act 1975 and in which children may be accommodated, I am satisfied that the existing regulations made under that Act make adequate provision for the special needs of children.
In relation to homes provided under children's legislation, I am satisfied that sufficient powers already exist: revised regulations governing these homes are being prepared. The homes in question are:
- (a) community homes provided by voluntary organisations and local authorities: powers exist under section 39, Child Care Act 1980;
- (b) Children's homes provided by voluntary organisations and registered by the Secretary of State: powers exist under section 60, Child Care Act 1980;
- (c) privately-run children's homes registered by local authorities: powers exist under section 8, Children's Homes Act 1982.