HC Deb 02 May 2000 vol 349 c48W
Ms Moran

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to propose amendments to the Protection of Children Act 1999 to offer greater protection to children subject to child contact orders where there is a history of domestic violence. [119281]

Mr. Hutton

We have no plans to amend the Protection of Children Act 1999 in this way because it is aimed at a different set of issues; primarily at preventing those considered unsuitable to work with children from doing so.

Contact orders are granted under the Children Act 1989 and when there is a history of domestic violence, greater protection may be offered to children through the court specifying that contact takes place within a contact centre. Additionally, contact may take place in such centres on a supervised basis. An inter-departmental group is looking currently at the funding arrangements and provision of child contact centres as part of the Government's programme on domestic violence—documented in "Living Without Fear (1999)".

The operation of the Children Act is kept under close review and serious consideration is given to any changes that might provide greater protection to children with violent parents.

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