Report (2nd Day)

Part of Care Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 14th October 2013.

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Photo of Lord Warner Lord Warner Labour 7:15 pm, 14th October 2013

My Lords, I rise briefly to support Amendment 77 and to ask the noble Earl whether his department has actually looked at the legislation that protects children to see whether this is in line with that legislation.

My child protection legislation knowledge and expertise are a bit rusty but the basic rule of child protection is that you see the child in their home environment. That is rule number one. If you look at many of the cases that have hit the headlines after going wrong, it is due to a failure to secure entry early on in the proceedings to see the child in their home environment. The noble Baroness, Lady Greengross, has highlighted a very important issue. I am still struggling to understand why the Scots and the Welsh think it is important to retain this kind of approach but we in England do not. There does not seem to be a consistency of purpose across the borders.

Lastly, with regard to neglect, if you look at the data on child protection, I think the fastest growing area in which courts are authorising care orders and approving care proceedings for children is neglect. We should not shy away from the fact that when times are hard this may be a growth area. I am very pleased that the noble Baroness, Lady Greengross, has included abuse and neglect in her amendment.