|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
28 Nov 2002 : Column 406Wcontinued
Jacqui Smith: The Government is aware that voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs) make a very significant contribution to the adoption service and play an important supporting role alongside their local authority partners in assessing prospective adopters for both domestic and inter-country adoption. Indeed, statistics prepared by the consortium of voluntary adoption agencies show that in 200102, 604 children were placed for adoption with adopters approved by 26 of their member agencies. This accounts for around 20 per cent of the looked after children likely to have been placed for adoption during that year.
Many VAAs specialise in finding adoptive placements for the more difficult to place children, including older children, children from ethnic minority groups and those with special needs. Almost a quarter of the 604 children placed for adoption with adopters assessed by VAAs were disabled, developmentally delayed or had special health care needs.
VAAs also play an important part in the provision of adoption support services. Nearly all VAAs offer support networks and provide a wide variety of support including workshops, therapeutic and social groups and counselling of individuals.
28 Nov 2002 : Column 407W
Jacqui Smith: The Department's social services performance assessment framework indicators 200102, which were published last week, show that the number of adoptions of looked after children increased from 3,100 in 200001 to 3,400 in 200102a rise of 11 per cent.
The Government believe that more can and should be done to promote the wider use of adoption to provide permanent, secure homes for vulnerable children, and have set a public service agreement target to increase by
28 Nov 2002 : Column 408W
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) care home inspectors are employed and (b) vacancies there are in each region for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
|Region||Establishment WTE||Actual headcount||Actual WTE||Variance Total Staff v. Establishment WTE||Offers made||Vacancies||Percentage vacancies against establishment|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||137.84||128.00||123.86||13.98||0.00||13.98||10.15|
1. Offers made are those that are currently awaiting start dates following the recruitment campaign of July/August.
2. Regions are currently in the process of interviewing for the current round of inspectors where we expect to fill 75100 posts.
3. Advert will be going to press on 4 December for any remaining vacancies.
Jacqui Smith: Following the publication of the Cross Cutting Review of Children at Risk for the 2002 Spending Review, the Government recently announced the next steps in developing preventive approaches in services for children and families. Local authorities, the health service, the police and key criminal justice agencies will, for next year, agree local preventive strategies which will build on existing initiatives such as Sure Start, the Children's Fund, Connexions and youth offending teams. The development of local strategies will be supported by Government offices and the inspectorates who, where necessary, will work with the local partners on ensuring that an effective strategy is in place.
The Government have also announced in the Treasury White Paper on the Spending Review published in July 2002, their intention to pilot new organisational models for managing children's services known as children's trusts. This work will be complemented by the Green Paper on Children at Risk announced by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary in July 2002.
Jacqui Smith: XWorking Together to Safeguard Children", the Government's guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, published in 1999, states that local authorities, in exercising their social services functions, should ensure that there is an area child protection committee covering their area, which brings together representatives of each of the main agencies and professionals responsible for helping to protect children from abuse and neglect. Area review committees were first established in 1974 and became area child protection committees in 1991. This guidance applies only to England.
The category, 'failure to thrive', has not been used in the Government's child protection guidance since 1991. XWorking Together Under the Children Act 1989", which was first published in 1991, and later replaced in 1999 by XWorking Together to Safeguard Childrena
28 Nov 2002 : Column 409W
Guide to Inter-agency Working to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children", narrowed the categories used when placing a child's name on the child protection register. The category of 'failure to thrive' is now, therefore, no longer recommended for use as a child protection register category.
Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children were in care in Leeds in (a) 1970, (b) 1980, (c) 1990 and (d) 2000; and what percentage these represented of Leeds children. 
|Year||Number at 31 March||Rate per 10,000 children|
1. All numbers are rounded to the nearest 5.
2. Figures for 1970 to 1990 relate to children in care of local authorities under the Children Act 1948, the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 and associated legislation.
3. Figures for 2000 relate to children being looked after by local councils under the Children Act 1989.
We are currently seeking views of stakeholders to inform our thinking about models that would support the vision of children's trusts we have set out. Pilots will start from April 2003, and we will be issuing a prospectus inviting expressions of interest in December.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|