§ Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will seek to amend the Children Act to enable social services departments to initiate wardship proceedings as a means of taking a child into care.
§ Mr. Yeo
No. The Children Act 1989 sought to rationalise the grounds for placing children in care within a single statutory framework. In so doing the new legislation removed the rights of local authorities to initiate wardship proceedings as a means of taking a child into care. If local authorities wish to place a child in care they must demonstrate that the statutory threshold criteria for the making of a care order apply—section 31 of the Children Act 1989—and that the order will positively contribute to the welfare of the child—section 1(5).