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Secure Accommodation

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to assess the effectiveness of secure children's homes. (205576)

Secure children's homes are inspected by the Chief Inspector for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills against the children's homes regulations and the national minimum standards.

It is the responsibility of local authorities, in making placement decisions for children whom they look after, to assess the suitability of placement and the extent to which they are capable of meeting the assessed needs of the individual child. Each child's progress should be monitored in the light of his or her care plan, and placements must be reviewed regularly to ensure that they continue to be suitable.

The Department recently commissioned an independent report into the market for welfare beds in secure children's homes, i.e. for children placed under section 25 of the Children Act. This report is due to be published later this year and the Department will consider, taking account of its recommendations, whether further action should be taken with regard to secure children's homes.