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Child Protection

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether all social services departments have received the new, shorter guidance on aspects of child protection. [114725]

"What To Do If You're Worried A Child Is Being Abused" was published on 19 May 2003. It is available on the Department of Health's website at: www.doh.gov.uk/safeguardingchildren/ and distribution of hard copies has now begun, including to local authority chief executives, and directors of social services to pass on to their staff. Copies are available in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in ensuring that children in custody are protected by the Children Act 1989. [114734]

The duties of councils with social services responsibilities towards children, including those in prisons, are set out in the Children Act 1989 and its associated regulations and guidance.The Department of Health is working with the Home Office, the Youth Justice Board and the Prison Service to consider the implications of Mr. Justice Munby's judgment in the recent judicial review case brought by the Howard League, together with Recommendation 2.8 of the Joint Chief Inspectors' report, "Safeguarding Children" (October 2002), which states that:

"The Home Office and Youth Justice Board should:
Issue revised guidance to the prison service and the ACPC member organisations on the requirements and arrangements to safeguard children in prisons and Young Offender Institutions."

Note:

ACPC—Area Child Protection Committee.