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Social Work Services Group

Volume 124: debated on Monday 7 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what is the role of his Department's social work services group; and if he has any plans to review its effectiveness;

(2) what innovative proposals, policy guidelines or ideas for dealing with delinquency have been published by the social work services group;

(3) what innovative proposals, policy guidelines or ideas for dealing with alcohol abuse have been published by the social work services group;

(4) what innovative proposals, policy guidelines or ideas for dealing with drug problems have been published by the social work services group;

(5) what has been the published contribution of the social work services group to policy development for the mentally handicapped;

(6) what has been the published contribution of the social work services group to policy development of community services for the mentally ill;

(7) what has been the published contribution of the social work services group to the development of policy initiatives for 16 to 21-year-old offenders;

(8) what has been the published contribution of the social work services group to the development of policy intiatives for the care of the elderly in the community.

The main function of the group is to advise and support Ministers in the exercise of the responsibilities laid upon my right hon. and learned Friend by the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 and related legislation and to implement policy decisions taken by Ministers. Some adjustments were made to the internal organisation of the group following an efficiency review undertaken in 1985. Copies of the report on the review were placed in the library. My right hon. and learned Friend has no plans meantime to undertake a further review.I shall reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible on the question of publications.