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ANTI-SOCIAL FAMILIES COULD LOSE HOMES AND CHILDREN

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Anti-social families will be evicted and have their children taken into care under legislation being backed by the ...
Anti-social families will be evicted and have their children taken into care under legislation being backed by the prime minister, reported The Sunday Telegraph (pp1-2).

The controversial sanction is now contained in the private member's Bill to withdraw housing benefit from nuisance neighbours. It was endorsed by Tony Blair last week and will be pushed through parliament with government help [including legal and drafting help for its promoter, former social security and pensions minister Frank Field]. Mr Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead, writes an article in the newspaper (p20) explaining the thinking behind the Bill.

Under the measure, designed to target extreme cases of violent or criminal behaviour by parents or their children, families would not be entitled to free rehousing by the state after benefits are stopped. Children would be taken into care until their parents made a commitment to behave decently. The proposals follows last week's cabinet row over Mr Blair's plans to remove child benefit from the parents of teenage criminals.

Mr Field said that, given the inadequacy of existing legislation, taking children into care was a necessary sanction to enforce standards of civility on problem families. Eviction alone was not enough, he said, because parents could simply demand new homes, which moved the problem to another area.

* see LGCnetfor 'ANTI-SOCIAL NEIGHBOURS COULD LOSE HOUSING BENEFITS'
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