New clause. — (Establishment of Case Committees.)

Part of Orders of the Day — CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS BILL [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th July 1963.

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The next case is that of a child whose parent or guardian is dissatisfied with a decision of the local authority not to receive him into care… That is important. Although it is true that the Clause is designed mainly to keep children out of care, it is possible to overdo the insistence on a child being better off at home than in care. No problem arises when a child is in care if it is a voluntary arrangement, because the parent can take the child out of care. But there is no remedy where an authority refuses to take the child into care. It may happen that a parent is desperate and is faced with the problem of what to do with the child. On the advice perhaps of some comparatively junior child welfare officer the parent may go to the police, or to the Family Welfare Association or the Citizens' Advice Bureau, and be told that the only thing to do is to take the child to court as being beyond control.