Skip to main content

Child Welfare

Volume 892: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1975

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what were the number of children in care in institutions in Scotland on 31st December 1973 and 1974, the average weekly cost of maintenance of each child in institutions, and the weekly payments made in each year to foster parents; the total saving thereby to local authority and public funds; and if he will take steps to encourage fostering of children outside institutions.

Figures for 1974 are not yet available. At 31st December 1973, 6,074 children were in residential care. Weekly average costs, as estimated recently, are about £31 for the care of a child in a residential establishment and £7 in the case of payments to foster parents. But the latter figure does not represent the full cost of fostering placements, and in any event the needs of many children cannot be met otherwise than by residential care. The recruitment of foster parents for children who can appropriately be boarded out is a local authority responsibility, and I have no reason to think that special encouragement from me is required.