Fixers

Andrew's Autism Awareness (16/10/2017)

For most people, having a simple chat is effortless and enjoyable – but not for everyone. For Andrew Hughes, who is 24 and from Carlisle, it’s not easy at all. That’s because Andrew suffers from autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which describes a range of conditions that all cause problems with social interaction and communication.‘I was diagnosed with autism in March 2015,’ says Andrew. ‘My doctor put me forward for assessment after I went through a bad patch. I was worrying and upset nearly every single minute.’

Full story: Fixers

CEOP

Transgender girl says it was change sex or die (16/10/2017)

One week she went to school dressed as a boy, the next she returned in a dress. Ellen was one of the first primary school children to transition in the UK. But her story runs far deeper than simply wearing the right clothes. For her, transitioning was a matter of life or death, it was a search for her true identity and permission to be the person she always felt she was.

Full story: BBC

TES

Two-thirds of teens want more online safety support (16/10/2017)

More than two-thirds of teenagers would like schools to provide more support on online safety issues such as cyber-bullying, new research suggests. And more than three-fifths (63 per cent) want their school to offer more peer-led education programmes on how to use social media safely, a survey from youth research agency has revealed. The ResearchBods poll, of 1,000 13- to 17-year-olds, found that teenagers are much more likely to confide in a peer (72 per cent) than a teacher (34 per cent) when they experience online bullying.

Full story: TES

CEOP

Facebook buys weeks-old app for teens to be nice to each other (16/10/2017)

An app that encourages teens to be nice to each other has been acquired by Facebook for an undisclosed fee. The app - called tbh, meaning "to be honest" - is just nine weeks old, but had already been downloaded five million times. The app's creators said it will remain a standalone program but will now have more resources thanks to Facebook. "We were compelled by the ways they could help us realise tbh’s vision and bring it to more people," tbh said.

Full story: BBC

CYP Now

Prison Service appoints permanent youth custody director (16/10/2017)

A permanent director for the organisation that has taken over responsibility for youth custody from the Youth Justice Board (YJB) has been appointed. Plans to create the Youth Custody Service (YCS), which is part of HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), were first announced in February by Justice Secretary Liz Truss. The organisation, which officially took on responsibility for youth custody last month, had been led on an interim basis by Sara Robinson, director of operations and commissioning at the YJB.

Full story: Children and Young People Now

Guardian

Children’s tsar savages NHS over 'unacceptable' mental health care (15/10/2017)

The children’s commissioner has launched a savage attack on the head of the NHS, accusing him of denigrating research that shows an “unacceptable” lack of children’s mental health provision. In a highly unusual move, Anne Longfield has published an open letter to Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, accusing him of ignoring young people’s experiences of the service and the frustrations of their parents. Laying out a list of grievances against him and his team, she also threatens to use the law to compel him to hand over data on waiting times for children’s mental health services.

Full story: Guardian

CEOP

Disabled children hate crime reports increasing (15/10/2017)

Reported hate crimes against disabled children are rising, a BBC investigation has discovered. Figures from police forces across the UK show there were 450 incidents reported last year, up from 181 in 2014-15, 5 live Investigates found. Families with disabled children described being targeted online and verbally abused in the street. The Home Office said the rise was due to better reporting and more victims willing to come forward.

Full story: BBC

CYP Now

NCS programme 'could be shortened to save money' (13/10/2017)

The government's flagship National Citizen Service youth programme could be shortened in a bid to save money, it has emerged. Giving evidence to a House of Lords select committee inquiry, the chief executive of the largest provider of NCS places, revealed that a three-week programme is being trialled - a week shorter than usual. At a hearing of the House of Lords citizenship and engagement committee, Oliver Lee, chief executive of NCS provider The Challenge, revealed that his organisation has been testing a shortened programme for 10,000 of its places this summer on behalf of the NCS Trust, which runs the scheme.

Full story: Children and Young People Now

Guardian

Talking to vulnerable children on their terms helps to build trust (13/10/2017)

Polly Cowan has been verbally abused and intimidated with knives. Once, a desperate mother threatened to kill her if she tried to take her child away. “I didn’t really believe her,” says Cowan, a social worker in Edinburgh. “She was a new mum, in a desperate situation; and it is not the case that we want to remove children from their families – quite the opposite. As social workers, we have to have empathy for families who are in difficulty, often from one generation to the next. They are usually very scared and vulnerable and the course of action you think is best may not align with what they want for their children.”

Full story: Guardian

Guardian

Many disciplines, one goal: a new way to care for children and families (13/10/2017)

Anew way of working is transforming the lives of “looked-after” children and their families in Hertfordshire and saving millions of pounds at the same time. Social worker caseloads have shrunk, the time children spend in the care system has dropped by 50% and the number of new child protection plans has been cut by more than half. But the statistics tell only half the story. The true success of the approach is borne out by feedback from the social workers and the families they care for. Sue Williams, director of family safeguarding at Hertfordshire county council, says: “The families tell us we have changed their lives. The social workers say they feel relieved – and are able to work without fear and develop their skills. They can feel the buzz of child protection – it’s not about rescuing children, but protecting them to allow them to grow up within their own families.”

Full story: Guardian

CYP Now

Children's leaders must make better use of existing resources (13/10/2017)

Local authorities must prove they are using existing children's services resources efficiently before the Department for Education will approach the Treasury for more money to tackle rising demand, children's minister Robert Goodwill has said. Goodwill told CYP Now that while he recognised calls for more money from local government leaders in order to address a projected £2bn spending gap in children's services by 2020, he said more evidence is needed to show that councils are making the most effective use of existing budgets.

Full story: Children and Young People Now

CYP Now

Schools 'failing to provide epilepsy support' (13/10/2017)

A number of schools across England are breaking the law because they do not provide support to children with epilepsy, a charity has warned. A report published by Young Epilepsy found that more than half of children with medical conditions, including epilepsy, are not receiving the support they are entitled to. Under the Children and Families Act 2014, state schools in England are legally required to support children with medical conditions such as epilepsy.

Full story: Children and Young People Now

CEOP

Young face growing mortgage debt burden (12/10/2017)

Young first-time buyers are increasing their overall mortgage debt in order to tackle short-term financial pressures. The average mortgage term is lengthening from the traditional 25 years, according to figures from broker L&C Mortgages. Its figures show the proportion of new buyers taking out 31 to 35-year mortgages has doubled in 10 years.

Full story: BBC

Independent

Record number of children in care as social services reach 'tipping point' (12/10/2017)

The number of children in care has reached a record high, with 90 young people entering the care system each day, figures show. Amid ongoing cuts to children’s centres and local family support services, the number of looked-after children in England and Wales reached 72,670 in the 12 months to March 2017 – marking the biggest annual surge of children in care in seven years. Campaigners said the figures highlight the urgent need for the Chancellor to use his Autumn Budget next month to address the £2bn funding gap facing children’s services by 2020, or place a growing number of children at risk

Full story: Independent

CEOP

Ninety children taken into care each day, figures show (12/10/2017)

Ninety children are being taken into care every day in England and Wales and it's claimed social workers are "firefighting" the most serious cases late into the night. Prof Ray Jones, who works in social services improvement, says staff fear children slip through the net as they try to keep up with rising pressures. Latest government figures show 32,810 children were taken into care in 2017. Ministers said extra money was being targeted towards improving services.

Full story: BBC