HC Deb 23 November 1988 vol 142 cc6-7W
Sir Raymond Gower

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he intends to make any arrangements to ensure that social work professionals in Wales receive appropriate training to deal effectively with cases of child abuse.

Mr. Peter Walker

I have given consideration to the implications for training following the Government's response to the Cleveland inquiry report, and in consultation with the Welsh Counties Committee. I have concluded that the best way forward for the financial year 1989–90 will be by means of a specific grant. Broadly in line with the position in England, a grant of 70 per cent. In support of expenditure of £588,000 will be made available to Welsh counties for use in training social work professionals and others in handling cases of child abuse. The money will be apportioned appropriately for each county, and will be allocated against detailed operational plans submitted to my Department for approval. The objectives and criteria for evaluation will be subject to discussion with local authority representatives, as will the arrangements for funding the scheme for the following financial year taking account of the need for continuity. Overall, this initiative will build on the steps that I have already taken for 1988–89. These involve a special initial allocation of over £60,000 for training in this field. Subject to parliamentary approval, this funding will continue for the financial year 1989–90.

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