§ Mr. Rose
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she will make a statement on the future of community homes under the Children and Young Persons Act.
§ Dr. Owen
Community homes continue to be necessary for the care and treatment of a substantial number of children in the care of local authorities. There are about 40,600 places in such homes and the existing plans of children's regional planning committees include 8,755 additional places. Community homes are one means of providing for children in care. Our policy is, within the limits of available resources, to help local authorities to fulfil these plans and to make the most appropriate use of residential places for those children who require residential care; and to encourage local authorities to develop a range of other services, not only to prevent children from coming into care, but to meet individual needs in other ways through intermediate treatment and foster home placement.