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Handicapped Children

Volume 928: debated on Monday 21 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) when he expects the first payments of attendance allowance in respect of handicapped children boarded out with foster parents by a local authority to be made following the Government's decision to amend the social security regulations; and if he will make a further statement;(2) what developments have taken place with regard to the payment of the attendance allowance for severely handicapped children who are in the care of a local authority and who are being looked after by foster parents; and if he will make a statement.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what developments have taken place with regard to the payment of the attendance allowance for severely handicapped children who are in the care of a local authority and who are being looked after by foster parents; and if he will make a statement.

The Government now undertake to introduce amending regulations to provide for payment of attendance allowance for handicapped foster children who satisfy the conditions for the allowance. This is a matter in which the hon. Gentleman and my hon. Friend with their colleagues in the All-Party Disablement Group, have taken a sustained interest. They will be glad to learn that the regulations for extending the allowance to qualified foster children will be laid shortly. While at this stage I cannot give the precise date from which payment will commence, it will not be later than 1st September 1977.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many children from birth to 5, 6 to 10, 11 to 15 years, respectively, were at the latest available date in receipt of (a) higher rate attendance allowance, (b) lower rate attendance allowance, (c) mobility allowance and (d) assistance from the Family Fund.

The information is not available in precisely the form requested. The following tables give the information available:

1. PROVISIONAL NUMBER OF CHILDREN FOR WHOM ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE WAS IN PAYMENT AS AT 31ST DECEMBER 1976 (GREAT BRITAIN)
Age*Higher RateLower RateTotals
2–42,7604,5537,313
5–98,8348,53117,365
10–148,2366,33914,575
151,3389992,337
Totals21,16820,42241,590
* For attendance allowance purposes a child is a person under the age of 16. The allowance is not payable for a child under the age of 2.
2. NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN RECEIPT OF MOBILITY ALLOWANCE AS AT 14TH MARCH 1977 (GREAT BRITAIN)
Age*Number
11–143,913
15–194,038
Total7,951
* Mobility allowance is not yet payable for young people under the age of 11.
3. NUMBER OF FAMILIES HELPED BY FAMILY FUND SINCE ITS INCEPTION IN APRIL 1973 (UNITED KINGDOM)
Age*of childNumber
0–510,540
6–109,683
11–156,991
Age not known306
Total27,520
It is inappropriate to refer to the number of families in receipt of assistance from the Family Fund at a particular date as the fund pays lump sum grants to families in which there is a severely handicapped child. The table relates, therefore, to the number of families with a child under the age of 16 helped by the fund since its inception in April 1973.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many children in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and in each English region, respectively, were at the latest available date in receipt of (a) higher rate attendance allowance, (b) lower rate

PAYMENTS OF ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE AND MOBILITY ALLOWANCE, AND HELP FROM THE FAMILY FUND FOR CHILDREN
Attendance Allowance (a)Mobility Allowance (b)Family Fund (c)
Higher RateLower Rate
Standard Regions/CountryNumberPer 1,000 child population (d)NumberPer 1,000 child population (d)NumberPer 1,000 child population (e)NumberPer 1,000 child population (d)
Northern1,4251·841,1801·521,7342·23
Yorkshire and Humberside1,8971·571,8721·552,3791·97
East Midlands (g)2,0451·491,8751·371,8662·01
East Anglia6371·45
South-East5,8801·495,7931·476,9861·77
South-West1,2941·311,3511·371,6661·69
West Midlands2,1081·612,2481·712,4231·84
North Western3,3862·072,9251·793,6562·23
England18,0351·6017,2441·537,9510·4821,3471·90
Wales1,2661·891,1451·711,7412·60
Scotland1,8671·392,0331·512,9812·22
Northern Ireland (f)1,1312·419672·063120·541,4503·09
(a) The figures for attendance allowance relate to the number of allowances in payment for children aged 2–15 as at 31st December 1976.
(b) The figures for mobility allowance relate to the number of allowances in payment for young people aged 11–19 as at 14th March 1977; the allowance is not yet payable for young people under the age of 11. A breakdown by region of mobility allowances for young people is not available.
(c) As the Family Fund pays grants to families in which there is a severely handicapped child, the figures relate to the number of families in which there is a child under the age of 16 and for whom assistance has been given at some time since the inception of the Fund in April 1973.
(d) The population figures are as at mid-1976 and relate to children aged 0–15.
(e) The population figures are as at mid-1976 and relate to persons aged 0–19.
(f) Figures for attendance allowance and mobility allowance for Northern Ireland have been supplied by the Department of Health and Social Services, Northern Ireland.
(g) Separate figures for attendance allowance for East Midlands and East Anglia are not available