§ Miss Lestor
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what special guidelines are issued to local authorities which have care and responsibility for children with physical or mental disabilities in order to ensure protection from abuse and early detection of abuse.
§ Mr. Yeo
There are no special child protection guidelines of this kind. "Working Together under the Children Act 1989", the Government's guidance on inter-agency co-operation in the protection of children from abuse, applies to all children including children with physical or mental disabilities. "Working Together" emphasises that children with disabilities have the same rights as other children, and that every effort should be made to provide appropriate assistance during an 493W investigative interview so that they can express themselves fully and understand what is happening and what decisions have to be made.