§ Mr. Thurnham
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when the second report to Parliament on the Children Act 1989 will be published.
§ Mr. Bowis
I am pleased to announce that my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Wales have laid before Parliament the second joint report to Parliament on the Children Act operation in England and Wales. Copies of the report have been placed in the Library.
The report gives an overview of the progress made and focuses on a wide range of issues. It is an encouraging picture confirming that the numbers of children looked after by local authorities, and on a child protection register continue to decline as local authorities respond positively to the intention of the Act that wherever possible children should remain at home with their families.