HC Deb 07 April 2003 vol 403 c96W
Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assistance is available to families(a) in difficulty and (b) with a child with disability to prevent potential abandonment. [105936]

Jacqui Smith

In England and Wales, section 17 of the Children Act 1989 places a duty on local authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need and, so far as is consistent with that duty, to promote the upbringing of such children by their parents. Councils can meet that duty by providing services to families, where this is the best way to meet the needs of the child. The criteria in the Children Act, which defines those are in need, includes all disabled children.