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Children (Social Workers)

Volume 116: debated on Thursday 14 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will take steps to empower social service workers with the statutory right to see and interview children about whose welfare there is concern.

Where a magistrate is satisfied that a social worker has reasonable cause to believe that the conditions for a care order are satisfied—these include neglect and ill treatment—he can grant an order authorising removal of the child to a place of safety. If the social worker is unable to gain access to the child the magistrate can issue a warrant to a constable who can enforce access. Some changes to the present law are envisaged in the White Paper "The Law on Child Care and Family Services".