HC Deb 19 December 2003 vol 416 c60W
Ms Keeble

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what strategies are being developed for supporting the children of people with no recourse to public funds. [140464]

Margaret Hodge

Local authority social service departments have a range of powers and duties in relation to children and their families under the Children Act 1989.

A general duty is placed on local authorities by section 17 of the Children Act 1989 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area who are in need by providing a range of services appropriate to those needs. The definition of a child in need is set out in section 17(10) of the Act, which applies to all children, regardless of whether or not their family has recourse to public funds. Services may be provided for members of the child's family under section 17 if those services help to promote the child's welfare.

There is also a duty under section 20 of the Children Act to provide accommodation for children in need.