HC Deb 25 June 1997 vol 296 c540W
Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to provide every child in residential care with an independent visitor; and what is the expected timetable for implementation of this policy. [4773]

Mr. Boateng

Local authorities have a statutory duty to appoint an independent visitor for any child they are looking after if they believe that it would be in the child's best interest and communication between the child and his parents is infrequent.

A report is expected this summer from Sir William Utting on safeguards for children living away from home, including those in residential care. Government will consider any recommendations arising from the report on the need to extend the role of the independent visitor to all children in residential care.