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Child Care

Volume 438: debated on Friday 6 June 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the total number of children deprived of normal home lives in England and Wales on 31st March, 1947, or the latest available date; the number of children deprived for the following reasons: death of parents; foundlings; desertion; legitimate and illegitimate; homelessness of parents; immorality of parents; cruelty of parents; inadequate home conditions; and the number of children in which the rights and powers of parents are vested in local authorities.

The number of children in England and Wales deprived of a normal home life, exclusive of delinquent and physically or mentally handicapped children, is estimated to have been about 94,000 on 1st May, 1946. This figure includes children who may have been only temporarily separated from their families. As regards the last part of the question, approximately 8,000 children are committed to the care of local authorities under the Children and Young Persons Act. Figures are not available to show in how many cases the rights and powers of parents vest in local authorities by resolution of the Council under Section 52 of the Poor Law Act, 1930. I regret that it is not possible to furnish the remainder of the information requested by my hon. Friend.