HC Deb 25 July 1991 vol 195 cc908-9W
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.

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.

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