HC Deb 29 March 1994 vol 240 cc679-80W
Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many local authorities in England have(a) appointed project workers to develop services for disabled children, (b) established multi-agency planning structures, (c) established budgets for services to disabled children and for how much, (d) developed home-based short-term care provision and (e) developed residential short-term care provision following the implementation of the Children Act 1989.

Mr. Bowis

Information is not available centrally in the form requested. The 1993 report to Parliament on the operation and achievements of the Children Act will be available shortly and will include a commentary on the services provided by local authorities for children with disabilities.

Mr. Blunkett

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if guidelines issued by her Department are of uniform status; and what action is taken to monitor guidelines with particular reference to those issued under the Children Act 1989 regarding the use of corporal punishment by child minders.

Mr. Bowis

The Department's guidance on behaviour and sanctions by child minders if minded children misbehave is contained in volume 2 of the Children Act Guidance and Regulations series entitled "Family Support, Day Care and Educational Provision for Young Children", copies of which are available in the Library. All these volumes were issued under section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 which requires local authorities in the exercise of their social services functions to act under the general guidance of my right hon. Friend the Secretry of State.

The Department keeps the working of the Children Act under review and issues supplementary guidance when this is appropriate. At present we are studying the recent High Court judgment in the case of Mrs. Davis. This was not critical of the content of the Department's guidance. We will consider if any further clarification is appropriate.