§ Mr. Gwilym Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, if he will make a statement about the management of children's homes in Wales.
§ Mr. Nicholas Bennett
We have already announced our intention to review local authorities' arrangements for the management and control of their children's homes: I intend to invite voluntary and private children's homes to co-operate in this exercise. The review will be conducted by the social services inspectorate Wales, and the report of its findings will be published.
Separately, following the recent allegations in the press, I have decided to direct Gwent county council to set up a full independent inquiry into the management regime and practical day-to-day running of Ty Mawr community home, and into the county council's arrangements for oversight and control of the local management. Guidance to local authorities on the need for them to take early action to introduce complaints procedures for the children in their care has already been issued. In collaboration with the Department of Health, the Department will be issuing further comprehensive guidance on residential care as part of the process of implementing the Children Act 1989 which comes into force in October. We will take whatever further action is necessary in the light of the reports of the Ty Mawr inquiry and our own review of children's homes when these are to hand.
In addition, officials have recently completed a thorough review of secure care for young people. The review, which took evidence from all interested parties, paid particular attention to the need for secure accommodation to avoid the use of prison for boys on remand. I am presently considering the final report of the review which we will be publishing for consultation next month. The consultation, which will be very wide, will be conducted with all urgency consonant with a proper consideration of the issues.