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Secure Units

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to increase the number of places in secure units for children and young people in Northern Ireland. [114380]

It is planned to increase the number of secure residential care places for children from 15 to 16 by 2005. Based on a recent inspection by the Social Services Inspectorate no substantial increase is proposed as it is anticipated that the Department's plans for an expansion in the general residential childcare sector will reduce the pressure on the need for secure care places.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many places there are in secure units for children and young people; how much is being expended on such provision in 2003–04; and what recent assessment he has made of need. [114378]

There are currently 15 secure care places provided for children in the care system at Shamrock and Linden House, Lakewood, Bangor. The cost of providing these places in 2003–04 will be approximately £1.8 million.In 2002 the Social Services Inspectorate carried out an assessment, which resulted in a business case being made to replace the existing accommodation and to expand the secure care places from 15 to 16.