§ Mr. Hunter
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the level of provision of care available to children with severe learning difficulties, extreme challenging behaviour and autism and on the provision of care available to them after they are of school age.
§ Mr. Dorrell
It is for local statutory authorities to determine the form and extent of services to be provided locally in the light of their knowledge of local needs and resources. We would expect the relevant education, social services and health authorities to work together with parents to identify what arrangements are appropriate for a young person leaving full-time education. Detailed statistics on the range of services provided are not held centrally, but in 1989 there were 2,032 places in local authority, voluntary and private homes and hostels for mentally handicapped children.