HC Deb 17 May 1994 vol 243 c416W
Mrs. Golding

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if her Department has, or intends to develop, a preventive strategy which concentrates on eliminating the range of factors and circumstances which can give rise to abuse or neglect of children; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Bowis

The Government attach a high priority to this problem and seeks to tackle it through guidance, measures designed to promote training in this field and through the Children Act 1989.

In October 1991, to coincide with the implementation of the Children Act, the Home Department, the Department of Health, the Department for Education and the Welsh Office published a revised edition of "Working Together under the Children Act 1989—a guide to arrangements for inter-agency co-operation for the protection of children from abuse". The guide incorporates lessons learned in individual cases which have caused public and professional concern in recent years. Copies of the guide are available in the Library.

Local authorities have a duty to provide services to prevent children in their area suffering ill treatment or neglect, which forms part of a general duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need.