§ Mr. Tredinnick
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will bring forward his detailed guidance under the Children Act 1989 regulations covering the management of residential children's homes.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
We have today published a compilation of guidance on residential care as volume 4 in the Children Act 1989 series. A copy will be placed in the Library.
This will apply to all local authority, voluntary and private children's homes, and some small boarding schools. They will be required to maintain a written statement of their purpose; provide proper standards of accommodation and staffing; prohibit corporal punishment; and keep detailed records. Inspection of children's homes will be expected normally to be carried out by local authorities' arms-length inspection units.
The new volume also draws together guidance and regulations previously published on placing children in homes; contact with parents; review of children's needs and circumstances; complaints procedures; independent visitors; and after-care.909W
The Children Act 1989 comes into force on 14 October. This follow-up package will also apply from then. Together, these provisions create a new framework for looking after children in homes which is comprehensive and forward looking and keeps the welfare of children at centre stage.