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Volume 888: debated on Thursday 13 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many pensions were paid, and what was the total sum paid, to retirement pensioners by her Department during the years 1972, 1973 and 1974 ; what was the number of such pensioners receiving supplementary benefit; and what was the total sum paid to them during these years.

The available information is as follows:dren's regional planning committees who have been asked to monitor the operation of, and to keep under review, their plans for the provision of residential accommodation for children in care. My Department collects annually information about children in the care of local authorities and the staffing of local authority and controlled community homes ; information about the operation of community homes with education on the premises is collected quarterly. This latter arrangement is under review and, with the co-operation of local authorities and regional planning committees, it is hoped to introduce revised arrangements in the summer which will facilitate the monitoring of the use of community homes with education on the premises and of observation and assessment centres by local authorities and regional planning committees.The Department's social work service, which is a source of professional advice to local authorities and voluntary organisations, visits community homes and advises on the maintenance of standards, the care of children and compliance with the statutory provisions relating to community homes. In addition, the Department's internal research unit has just completed a monitoring exercise, the results of which have still to be written up, on an experimental community home project. It is also undertaking a study of children referred to the Department as being beyond the capacity of the "open" community home system.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proportion of residential staff in community homes have any basic relevant training.

As at 30th September 1973—the latest date for which figures are available—some 13 per cent, of care staff employed in local authority com-

Average increments in payment at 30th November1973*Maximum increments payable to a person who retired on 30th November1973 after5 years' deferred retirement
Person on his or her own contributions56p£1·57
Widow on her own and her husband's contributionsNot available †£2·36‡
Married woman on her husband's contributions26p79p
*Most recent available date.
† 59p was the average for women on their own contributions, and 43p for widows on their husbands' contributions.
‡ This assumes that both deferred their retirement for the five years to 30th November 1973.