HC Deb 21 January 1998 vol 304 cc577-8W
Mr. Clappison

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what estimate he has made of the increase in the number of children who will be made the subject of a care order as a result of the operation of the child safety order provisions of the Crime and Disorder Bill; [23972]

(2) what estimate he has made of the increase in numbers of (a) probation officers, (b) social workers, (c) local authority education staff and (d) health authority staff which will be occasioned by the child safety and parenting provisions of the Crime and Disorder Bill; [23969]

(3) if he will provide a breakdown of his estimate that the additional costs of child safety orders and parenting orders will not exceed £4 million per annum. [23970]

Mr. Michael

The costs of implementing the youth justice measures contained in the Crime and Disorder Bill, including the child safety order and the parenting order, will depend on the use which the courts make of the new powers and the effect of the measures on offending behaviour. The Government have indicated in their White Paper "No more excuses: A new approach to tackling youth crime in England and Wales" (Cmd 3809) that it will pilot many of the youth justice measures, including the child safety order and the parenting order.

Pilot trials will enable an accurate estimate to be made of the costs and savings that will result when these measures are fully implemented. The financial memorandum of the Crime and Disorder Bill estimated that, depending on how the parenting order and the child safety order are used, additional costs will not exceed £4 million. This is broken down as follows: Parenting orders: £3.75 million Child safety orders: £0.25 million

We expect the parenting order to be used more widely than the child safety order because the former will be available in a wider range of circumstances. The parenting order will be available for parents of convicted young offenders, for parents of children who have been made the subject of an anti-social behaviour order, sex offender order or child safety order and for parents who have been convicted of failing to send their children to school.

The Financial Memorandum of the Crime and Disorder Bill sets out the effects of the Bill on public service manpower. These proposals are not anticipated to have a significant impact on public service manpower. The way that youth justice services are provided within the youth offending teams, established under the Crime and Disorder Bill, will be a matter for local decision by local authorities, the police, the probation service and health authorities. The youth justice plan which the Bill requires local authorities to draw up in consultation with the other agencies will have to set out how youth justice services in their area are to be provided and funded and how youth offending teams are to be composed and funded.

It is too early to say how many care orders will be made for breach of the requirements for a child safety order. This will be one of the issues about which the pilots will provide information.