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Health Services: Children

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 19 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether her Department’s guidance on the application of the statutory definition of children in need includes children affected by alcohol misuse. (138560)

I have been asked to reply.

Children are defined as ‘in need’ under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 if they are unlikely to achieve or maintain a reasonable level of health or development, or their health or development would be significantly impaired, without the provision of services by the local authority with children’s services responsibility.

The Government’s guidance, “A Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families” (2000) provides guidance on undertaking assessments to support professional judgments about how to help children and families in the best interests of the child. Circumstances such as the misuse of alcohol by a child or by others within the child’s family would be among the factors taken into account when carrying out such an assessment.