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Children in Care

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of care leavers were living in suitable accommodation (a) in total and (b) in each of the smallest geographical areas for which figures are available in each year since 2000; and if he will make a statement. (291190)

[holding answer 14 September 2009]: The information for the years 2004-08 has been placed in the House Libraries. Earlier years can be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children have been taken into alternative care as a result of low parental income in each of the last five years. (291853)

Children are not taken into care because of parental low income.

A care order cannot be issued for a child simply because their parents are on a low income. Section 31 of the Children Act 1989 specifies that, to issue a care order, the court has to be satisfied that:

(A) The child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm; and

(B) That the harm, or likelihood of harm, is attributable to:

the care given to the child (or likely to be given to him if the order were not made) not being what it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give to him; or

the child’s being beyond parental control.

In all cases of children being taken into care on care orders, these conditions will have been fulfilled to the satisfaction of a court.