§ Mr. Dawson
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what powers social services departments will have to assist children and families from whom welfare benefits are withdrawn under clause 7 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Bill. 
§ Margaret Hodge
[holding answer 15 December 2004]Local authorities may exercise any of their Children Act 1989 powers and duties to assist the children of such families. They may use section 20 to accommodate the children or section 17 to provide other support. They may not use section 17 to assist any adult member of the family unless it is to prevent a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).