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Children: Protection

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to ensure that 16 and 17 year olds have sufficient access to child protection services. (249167)

[holding answer 19 January 2009]: “Working Together to Safeguard Children” (2006) sets out clearly that a child for the purposes of the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 respectively is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. It also stresses that the fact that a child has reached 16 years of age does not change his or her entitlement to services or protection under the Children Act 1989.

In recognition of the fact that a significant number of young people who are the subject of a child protection plan or otherwise known to children’s services may have or are being neglected, the Department of Health and Department for Children, Schools and Families has commissioned York university undertake a study on the neglect of adolescents. This includes a review of the literature on the neglect of adolescents and the preparation of evidence-based materials to improve practice in this important area. The work will be published in the spring and disseminated widely within children’s services.