HC Deb 19 May 1992 vol 208 cc97-9W
Mr. Hinchliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions since its implementation the Children Act 1989 has been used to prevent or act upon incidents of female genital mutilation.

Mr. Yeo

The Female Circumcision Act 1985 made female genital mutilation in this country explicitly illegal. Since the Act was implemented there has been no firm evidence of illegal mutilations carried out in this country.

Under the Children Act 1989 it would be possible for a local authority to apply to the court for a section 8 prohibited steps order which could be used to prevent female genital mutilation. Although data on the numbers of applications for these orders are collected, there is no central record as to the reasons why the applications are made.

Mr. Hargreaves

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines she has issued to councils regarding the administration and interpretation of the Children Act 1988; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Yeo

The launch of the Children Act 1989 has been accompanied by an unprecedented exercise to disseminate detailed information on the Act to local authorities, courts, voluntary organisations and others involved in child care. A list of publications on the Children Act follows. These include nine volumes of regulations and guidance on the Children Act, produced by the Department, in conjunction with the Lord Chancellor's Department, the Home Office and the then Department of Education and Science. Publication of the various volumes of guidance took place between March 1991 and October 1991, with local authorities in England receiving a proportionate share of approximately 20,000 free copies of each volume. A revised edition of "Working Together on Inter-Agency Co-operation for the Protection of Children from Abuse" was produced which took account of the Children Act.

In addition to guidance to local authorities on the Children Act, the Department commissioned a number of training packs and copies were made available to local authorities. These are also included in the list of publications.

List of Publications on the Children Act aimed at local authorities
I Regulations and Guidance
Name of Publication Date of Issue/Launch
Volume 1—Court Orders 6 March 1991
Volume 2—Family Support, Day Care and Educational Provision for Young Children 21 March 1991
Volume 3—Family Placements 15 April 1991
Volume 4—Residential Care 25 July 1991
Volume 5—Independent Schools 26 April 1991
Volume 6—Children with Disabilities 11 September 1991
Volume 7—Guardians Ad Litem and other Court Related Issues 7 October 1991
Volume 8—Private Fostering and Miscellaneous 15 October 1991
Volume 9—Adoption Issues October 1991

Name of Publication Date of Issue/Launch
Patterns and Outcomes in Child Placement 3 May 1991
Guidance for Local Authorities on Statistical Returns May 1991
Working Together on Inter-Agency Co-operation for the Protection of Children from Abuse (New edition) October 1991
The Welfare of Children in Boarding Schools Practice Guide October 1991
Registration of Childminding and Day care: Using the Law to Improve Standards October 1991
Practice Guide for GALROs Not as yet issued
Guidance for GALRO Panel Managers Not as yet issued
Timetabling of Care Proceedings before the implementation of the Children Act 1989 February 1992
The Care of Children—Principles and Practice in Regulations and Guidance 1989
Looking After Children—Assessing Outcomes in Child Care December 1991

II Training Materials
Name of Publication Date of Launch/Issue
National Children's Bureau
Children and Group Day care, aimed principally at those responsible for registration and inspection in SSDs 16 May 1991 Launched by Minister of Health
National Children's Bureau
Child Protection Training Project designed principally for local authority staff in relation to court orders obtainable for the protection of children 1 May 1991 Launched by Minister of Health
Family Rights Group
Working in Partnership with Children and Families and Communities. It aims to give social workers and their managers a thorough knowledge of the interrelationship of law and practice in relation to partnership and prevention 24 July 1991 Launched by P.S.S. Health

III Training Materials Centrally Commissioned
Name and Description of Pack and Preparing Body Date of Launch
Open University
"Putting it into Practice" Deals with the overall philosophy of the Children Act prepared jointly 23 January 1991 Launched by Minister of Health
Department of Health with LCD principally for social workers, local authority lawyers and magistrates 29 January 1991 Launched by Lord Chancellor
Leicester University
Children in Need and their Families: A New Approach. A guide to Part III of the Act for local authority Councillors November 1990
Manual for Senior Managers of SSDs. Deals with the philosophy of the Act and major changes it brings about 3 May 1991
The Children Act—An Advisors Guide (video) July 1991

IV Children Act Publicity—Leaflets etc

To date six booklets and a leaflet have been issued on the Children Act:

  • The Children Act and the Courts—A Guide for Parents
  • The Children Act and Local Authorities—A Guide for Parents
  • The Children Act and You—A Guide for Young People (leaflet)
  • The Children Act and the Courts—A Guide for Children and Young People
  • Getting Help from the Social Services—A Guide for Children and Young People
  • 99
  • Living Away from Home Your Rights—A Guide for Children and Young People
  • Children Act and Day Care—A Guide to the Law

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