HC Deb 11 July 2000 vol 353 c534W
Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans exist for a co-ordinated police response in relation to(a) child abuse in care, (b) disappearances from children's homes and (c) child deaths in children's homes. [129769]

Mr. Charles Clarke

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)/Local Government Association jointly issued a set of guidelines, "Missing from Care: Procedures and Practices in Caring for Missing Children" (1988), underlining the importance of close co-operation between police and social services when children go missing from care.

"Working Together to Safeguard Children" is a Department of Health document which has been prepared and issued jointly by the DOH, the Home Office and the Department of Education and Employment. It is addressed to those who work in the health and education services, the police, social services, the probation service, and those whose work brings them into contact with children and families. It is intended to provide a national framework within which agencies at a local level draw up and agree detailed ways of working together to promote children's welfare and to protect them from abuse and neglect and, in the most extreme cases, death.

Following publication of "Learning the Lessons—the Government's response to the Waterhouse Report", there is to be an inter-agency review of best practice in conducting complex abuse investigations. A Review Group is being established to take forward this work, bringing together representatives from the Home Office, Department of Health, Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Social Services and the Association of Chief Police Officers.

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