A recent legal ruling raised the possibility of children being taken into care because their family became homeless. This issue was brought to Mr Byers' attention and he was determined to close this potential loophole.
Where social services request the housing authority to assist them to discharge their functions under Part 3 of the Children Act 1989, in meeting the needs of the child, the housing authority will be required to co-operate. Underpinning this will be guidance for housing and social services departments about co-operative working.
Mr Byers, secretary of state for transport, local government and the regions said:
'Good co-operation between housing and social services departments is vital to meet the needs of such families. The changes we plan to bring forward to the Homelessness Bill will reinforce this.'
* also see LGCnetfor 'DEBATE ON UNACCOMPAINIED ASYLUM SEEKING CHILDREN' from the Welsh assembly.