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Latest news

27/09/2020: Molly Russell social media material ‘too difficult to look at’

Instagram has passed thousands of pages of “pretty dreadful” material from the account of Molly Russell to her family’s legal team, a court heard. The 14-year-old killed herself in 2017 after viewing . . . graphic images of self harm and suicide on the platform. A pre-inquest hearing on Friday was told not all the material had been studied yet as it was too difficult for lawyers and police to look at for long. A date for the inquest itself is yet to be set. The inquest will look at how algorithms used by social media giants to keep users on the platform may have contributed to her death.
BBC

27/09/2020: Class sizes in UK may rise to 60 as schools struggle to cover for self-isolating teachers

Some schools are planning to increase their class sizes to up to 60 pupils so that they can continue to offer students an education this term, as fears grow of a looming teacher shortage. Headteachers . . . are worried that a significant number of staff will need to self-isolate for long periods this winter as they struggle to gain access to tests for Covid-19, and that schools will soon run out of money to pay for cover from supply teachers.
Guardian

25/09/2020: Quarter of childcare providers at risk of closure due to pandemic, councils warn

Up to a quarter of childcare providers in some areas are at risk of closure without the government providing more financial support during the Covid-19 pandemic, latest research shows. A study of 25 . . . members of the County Councils Network (CCN) found that 80 per cent of respondents said one in 10 childcare providers in their area were at risk of closure over the winter, with the remaining 20 per cent predicting that one in four were at risk.
Children and Young People Now

25/09/2020: ‘Vital ally’ joins fight against online child sexual abuse

“Over lockdown, children have been online even more and they are all on devices. It is important they know what is going on, and about the possible dangers.” A “vital ally” has joined the fight to . . . keep child sexual abuse material off the internet. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has welcomed online learning provider Natterhub on board as a new member. Natterhub is “a safe, gated educational social media platform for primary schools, with weekly interactive lessons on all aspects of online safety for Years 1-6”. The partnership will help the IWF in its mission to find and remove videos and images of children suffering sexual abuse from the internet.
Internet Watch Foundation

24/09/2020: Early help conference explores pandemic impact on children’s services

Some of England’s leading experts on early help will be assessing the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic will have on children’s services at the 7th annual Children & Young People Now Early Help . . . conference, which is taking place online. With the number of vulnerable children and families expected to increase significantly over the coming months as a result of the economic crisis and trauma caused by the pandemic, health and care agencies across the public and voluntary sector are preparing for a rise in referrals for support.
Children and Young People Now

24/09/2020: Have your say on impact of virtual family court hearings and child protection conferences on practice

Dramatically overhauling entire working practices in the family justice system was not on the agenda for 2020 and, if it had been, research and evaluations would have been a core part of the design . . . process. But Covid-19 turned the system on its head. Previously inconceivable practices – from remote courtrooms to socially-distanced contact between children and parents – became the new normal overnight. Professionals had to make rapid decisions about the support that could be provided to children and families and, initially at least, these decisions had to be made in the dark.
Community Care

23/09/2020: Video game loot boxes: another form of gambling?
BBC
23/09/2020: Dark web drugs raid leads to 179 arrests
BBC
23/09/2020: #Chances4Children: Support for young carers returning to school
Children and Young People Now
23/09/2020: Children showing interest in extremism, says senior officer
Guardian
22/09/2020: Quadrupling in schools sending pupils home in Covid cases
BBC
21/09/2020: Cyber threat to disrupt start of university term
BBC
21/09/2020: One-in-20 pupils at home with lockdown-related issues
BBC
20/09/2020: Mother and son write lockdown book to explain autism (Video)
BBC

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NEWSLETTER: Youth and Online Safety
Coronavirus

27/09/2020: Class sizes in UK may rise to 60 as schools struggle to cover for self-isolating teachers

Some schools are planning to increase their class sizes to up to 60 pupils so that they can continue to offer students an education this term, as fears grow of a looming teacher shortage. Headteachers . . . are worried that a significant number of staff will need to self-isolate for long periods this winter as they struggle to gain access to tests for Covid-19, and that schools will soon run out of money to pay for cover from supply teachers.
Guardian

25/09/2020: Quarter of childcare providers at risk of closure due to pandemic, councils warn

Up to a quarter of childcare providers in some areas are at risk of closure without the government providing more financial support during the Covid-19 pandemic, latest research shows. A study of 25 . . . members of the County Councils Network (CCN) found that 80 per cent of respondents said one in 10 childcare providers in their area were at risk of closure over the winter, with the remaining 20 per cent predicting that one in four were at risk.
Children and Young People Now

24/09/2020: Early help conference explores pandemic impact on children’s services

Some of England’s leading experts on early help will be assessing the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic will have on children’s services at the 7th annual Children & Young People Now Early Help . . . conference, which is taking place online. With the number of vulnerable children and families expected to increase significantly over the coming months as a result of the economic crisis and trauma caused by the pandemic, health and care agencies across the public and voluntary sector are preparing for a rise in referrals for support.
Children and Young People Now

Safeguarding

25/09/2020: ‘Vital ally’ joins fight against online child sexual abuse

“Over lockdown, children have been online even more and they are all on devices. It is important they know what is going on, and about the possible dangers.” A “vital ally” has joined the fight to . . . keep child sexual abuse material off the internet. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has welcomed online learning provider Natterhub on board as a new member. Natterhub is “a safe, gated educational social media platform for primary schools, with weekly interactive lessons on all aspects of online safety for Years 1-6”. The partnership will help the IWF in its mission to find and remove videos and images of children suffering sexual abuse from the internet.
Internet Watch Foundation

24/09/2020: Have your say on impact of virtual family court hearings and child protection conferences on practice

Dramatically overhauling entire working practices in the family justice system was not on the agenda for 2020 and, if it had been, research and evaluations would have been a core part of the design . . . process. But Covid-19 turned the system on its head. Previously inconceivable practices – from remote courtrooms to socially-distanced contact between children and parents – became the new normal overnight. Professionals had to make rapid decisions about the support that could be provided to children and families and, initially at least, these decisions had to be made in the dark.
Community Care

17/09/2020: Children’s services referrals rise as lockdown measures ease

Most local authorities have reported a rise in referrals to children’s services since lockdown measures eased, latest government figures show. The Department for Education’s most recent vulnerable . . . children and young people survey found that referrals to children’s services over the two weeks between 10 – 23 August were up 12 per cent on the same period over the last three years. Some 60 per cent of local authorities reported an increase.
Children and Young People Now

Youth Justice

24/09/2020: Have your say on impact of virtual family court hearings and child protection conferences on practice

Dramatically overhauling entire working practices in the family justice system was not on the agenda for 2020 and, if it had been, research and evaluations would have been a core part of the design . . . process. But Covid-19 turned the system on its head. Previously inconceivable practices – from remote courtrooms to socially-distanced contact between children and parents – became the new normal overnight. Professionals had to make rapid decisions about the support that could be provided to children and families and, initially at least, these decisions had to be made in the dark.
Community Care

23/09/2020: Dark web drugs raid leads to 179 arrests

Police forces around the world have seized more than $6.5m (£5m) in cash and virtual currencies, as well as drugs and guns in a co-ordinated raid on dark web marketplaces. Some 179 people were . . . arrested across Europe and the US, and 500kg (1,102lb) of drugs and 64 guns confiscated. It ends the “golden age” of these underground marketplaces, Europol said. “The hidden internet is no longer hidden”, said Edvardas Sileris, head of Europol’s cyber-crime centre.
BBC

18/09/2020: Hub gives teens at risk of crime ‘another chance’

A new academy aims to give disadvantaged teens at risk of committing offences “another chance” in education. BIIIG Academy in Bristol will take on 20 students to train for an NVQ3 in construction from . . . October. Youth worker Anton Brown set up the centre using his own money in memory of teenager Tyrone Hayman, who was fatally stabbed in 2019. The academy will also house a music studio, kitchen and a creative hub.
BBC

Education

27/09/2020: Class sizes in UK may rise to 60 as schools struggle to cover for self-isolating teachers

Some schools are planning to increase their class sizes to up to 60 pupils so that they can continue to offer students an education this term, as fears grow of a looming teacher shortage. Headteachers . . . are worried that a significant number of staff will need to self-isolate for long periods this winter as they struggle to gain access to tests for Covid-19, and that schools will soon run out of money to pay for cover from supply teachers.
Guardian

25/09/2020: Government issues gender identity guidance for teachers in England

Teachers should not tell children that they might be a different gender based on their personality or the clothes they want to wear, new guidance from the Department for Education states. The . . . guidance, published on Thursday, notes teachers in England must not “reinforce harmful stereotypes” and resources used to discuss topics involving gender and biological sex should be “age-appropriate and evidence based”.
Guardian

23/09/2020: #Chances4Children: Support for young carers returning to school

Two major charities have teamed up to raise awareness of support needed by young carers as they return to school. The Children’s Society and Carers Trust, who jointly run the Young Carers in Schools . . . initiative, have produced a guide for school staff to enable them to help young carers.
Children and Young People Now

Family

25/09/2020: Quarter of childcare providers at risk of closure due to pandemic, councils warn

Up to a quarter of childcare providers in some areas are at risk of closure without the government providing more financial support during the Covid-19 pandemic, latest research shows. A study of 25 . . . members of the County Councils Network (CCN) found that 80 per cent of respondents said one in 10 childcare providers in their area were at risk of closure over the winter, with the remaining 20 per cent predicting that one in four were at risk.
Children and Young People Now

24/09/2020: Have your say on impact of virtual family court hearings and child protection conferences on practice

Dramatically overhauling entire working practices in the family justice system was not on the agenda for 2020 and, if it had been, research and evaluations would have been a core part of the design . . . process. But Covid-19 turned the system on its head. Previously inconceivable practices – from remote courtrooms to socially-distanced contact between children and parents – became the new normal overnight. Professionals had to make rapid decisions about the support that could be provided to children and families and, initially at least, these decisions had to be made in the dark.
Community Care

23/09/2020: #Chances4Children: Support for young carers returning to school

Two major charities have teamed up to raise awareness of support needed by young carers as they return to school. The Children’s Society and Carers Trust, who jointly run the Young Carers in Schools . . . initiative, have produced a guide for school staff to enable them to help young carers.
Children and Young People Now

Early Intervention/ACE

16/06/2020: Early intervention services ‘unable to cope’ as lockdown measures lift

Early intervention services could be left “unable to cope” as lockdown measures lift due to the impact of school closures and social distancing on vulnerable families, new research warns. A new report . . . by the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) and Action for Children, based on interviews with professionals across the children’s services sector, finds that the “knock-on effect” of the coronavirus pandemic on early help services will have a “profound” impact on families not eligible for local authority support.
Children and Young People Now

01/05/2020: Police need ACE training to better understand impact of child violence, study says

Police officers should be trained in understanding the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on young people in order to tackle an increase in child to parent violence, new research suggests. . . . A report commissioned by Northumbria Police, Policing Childhood Challenging Violent or Aggressive Behaviour: responding to vulnerable families, makes the recommendation as part of a wider strategy to help its police officers better understand the causes of child to parent violence.
Children and Young People Now

10/04/2020: How does a traumatic event impact child behaviour?

“Children do make choices to misbehave,” states professor Essi Viding, “but the tools they bring to make the choices are different. Someone who has very stable developmental history is making a . . . particular choice with a completely different toolkit than a child who has an unpredictable developmental history.”
Times Education Supplement

Technology

27/09/2020: Molly Russell social media material ‘too difficult to look at’

Instagram has passed thousands of pages of “pretty dreadful” material from the account of Molly Russell to her family’s legal team, a court heard. The 14-year-old killed herself in 2017 after viewing . . . graphic images of self harm and suicide on the platform. A pre-inquest hearing on Friday was told not all the material had been studied yet as it was too difficult for lawyers and police to look at for long. A date for the inquest itself is yet to be set. The inquest will look at how algorithms used by social media giants to keep users on the platform may have contributed to her death.
BBC

25/09/2020: ‘Vital ally’ joins fight against online child sexual abuse

“Over lockdown, children have been online even more and they are all on devices. It is important they know what is going on, and about the possible dangers.” A “vital ally” has joined the fight to . . . keep child sexual abuse material off the internet. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has welcomed online learning provider Natterhub on board as a new member. Natterhub is “a safe, gated educational social media platform for primary schools, with weekly interactive lessons on all aspects of online safety for Years 1-6”. The partnership will help the IWF in its mission to find and remove videos and images of children suffering sexual abuse from the internet.
Internet Watch Foundation

23/09/2020: Video game loot boxes: another form of gambling?

The government is asking for the public’s opinion about the impact of loot boxes in video games, in an eight-week consultation. Loot boxes are a controversial feature of many video games – both . . . console and mobile. When a player purchases a loot box, they only find out what is inside it once they have paid. It may contain a digital prize that’s valuable within the game, but equally it may contain nothing useful.
BBC

Drugs and Alcohol

23/09/2020: Dark web drugs raid leads to 179 arrests

Police forces around the world have seized more than $6.5m (£5m) in cash and virtual currencies, as well as drugs and guns in a co-ordinated raid on dark web marketplaces. Some 179 people were . . . arrested across Europe and the US, and 500kg (1,102lb) of drugs and 64 guns confiscated. It ends the “golden age” of these underground marketplaces, Europol said. “The hidden internet is no longer hidden”, said Edvardas Sileris, head of Europol’s cyber-crime centre.
BBC

18/09/2020: Exploitation by county lines gangs increased during lockdown, government figures show

An increase in exploitation by county lines gangs during lockdown has seen the number of potential child victims of criminal exploitation overtake adults for the first time, government figures show. . . . The most recent modern slavery statistics, published by the Home Office, show a five per cent drop in overall referrals to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) during lockdown compared with the same four months (April – June) the previous year.
Children and Young People Now

28/08/2020: Children exploited by gangs in lockdown ‘most at risk of exclusion’ in September

Fears of a spike in exclusions as schools reopen in September could “disproportionately impact” children exploited by county lines drugs gangs during lockdown, a children’s legal charity has warned. . . . Just for Kids Law is calling for schools to change their approach to child criminal exploitation so that it “always focuses on doing everything possible to safeguard and protect a child” amid fears of a spike in exclusions from next week.
Children and Young People Now

Events

20/10/2020 : Adopting Trauma Informed Services to address the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events or experiences which impact children while growing up. These ACEs have the potential to . . . damage both mental and physical health across the life course. The more ACEs a child lives through, the higher the likelihood of health and social problems in later life.

Birmingham |  £130.00 | Details

23/10/2020 : Youth Work in the 2020s
Youth work in all its forms can have a transformational impact on young people’s lives. After a decade of policy neglect and underfunding, the . . . beginning of the 2020s promises a strong focus on youth work policy, skills and qualifications not seen for many years. Youth Work in the 2020s will provide essential learning and insight for everyone who has an interest in the future of youth work. The conference – organised by Children & Young People Now, alongside our event partner National Youth Agency – brings together key figures and leading practitioners to support you in providing high quality, effective services and support to all young people.

America Square Conference Centre, London |  From £199.00 | Details

13/01/2021 : Safeguarding Children in the Digital Age
Digital technology continues to evolve at an extraordinary rate, providing children and young people with countless opportunities for learning, . . . development and socialisation. It also presents ever increasing threats to their wellbeing and safety. This one day conference will provide essential learning for the entire children’s workforce. We are bringing together leading online safety experts and safeguarding professionals to equip you with the understanding, skills and confidence to ensure children and young people stay safe in the digital age, in a series of high quality CPD-certified keynote talks and seminars.

London |  From £299.00 | Details

Publications

Young Carers in School: Guidance for Schools (Covid-19)
As the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues, it is critical that all professionals working with children and young people are aware of the needs . . . and risks of young carers. The Young Carers in Schools Programme has consulted young carers, schools and carers services and created a succinct PDF guide and an all-staff briefing PowerPoint presentation for all schools to use, to inform their response to the needs of young carers at this time.
View document (PDF)

How safe are our children?
An overview of data on abuse of adolescents – Since 2013, our annual How safe are our children? report has compiled and analysed data from across the . . . UK to show the current child protection landscape. In 2020, for the first time, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) took on this task. We took this opportunity to refocus our annual report. This year we’ve looked in more detail at statistics relating to abuse perpetrated against adolescents. We’ve also included an overview of emerging data on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the safety of children and young people in the UK.
View document (PDF)

Tips for when you come into contact with young people
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has worked with their youth panel to develop a guide for officers coming into contact with young . . . people.
View document (Word)

A review of what works in multi-agency decision making and the implications for child victims of trafficking
ECPAT UK and the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner have produced a review into models of multi-agency decision making in the UK. A . . . review of what works in multi-agency decision making and the implications for child victims of trafficking makes recommendations for best practice in multi-agency decision making for child victims of trafficking, including potential future devolved decision-making in the National Referral Mechanism.
View document (PDF)

When to call the police: Guidance for schools & colleges (NPCC)
This advice is for school and college staff with responsibility for behaviour management, including designated safeguarding leads (DSLs), their . . . deputies, head teachers and senior leadership teams in schools and colleges in England. This advice covers incidents on school and college premises where students have potentially committed a crime. It provides guidance on what schools and colleges should bear in mind when considering contacting the police.
View document (PDF)

Links/Organisations

Young Carers in Schools Programme
Young Carers in Schools is a free initiative that makes it as easy as possible for schools to support young carers, and awards good practice. Run . . . jointly by Carers Trust and The Children’s Society, the Young Carers in Schools (YCiS) programme works with schools across England to share good practice, provide relevant tools and training, and to celebrate the great outcomes that many schools achieve for young carers. Due to the increased pressures of Covid-19, now is a crucial time to be implementing support for young carers in school.
https://youngcarersinschools.com

The For Baby’s Sake Trust
We campaign and share expertise on improving life-chances. We call on government not to waste the precious time when babies’ brains are developing and . . . parents want help to break cycles of domestic abuse and related traumatic adversities. We empower expectant parents with what they need to break the cycle of domestic abuse and give their baby the best possible start in life, especially by helping them to come to terms with trauma and adversity in their own childhoods.
https://www.forbabyssake.org.uk

Teen Talk South West
National Lottery funded chatline for teens aged 12-19 in the South West. Call us from 4pm-8pm, Monday-Friday on 01752 270024. During this uncertain . . . time, you can call us for a simple chat or for some revision guidance, no concern is ever too small!

Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse
We want children to be able to live free from the threat and harm of sexual abuse. Our aim is to reduce the impact of CSA through improved prevention . . . and better response.
https://www.csacentre.org.uk

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime & Violence Reduction
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Knife Crime & Violence Reduction is a group of over 70 MPs and Peers, set up in response to the . . . alarming rise in knife crime across the country. The group aims to develop cross-party consensus from parliamentarians around new approaches to tackling knife crime, with particular focus on prevention and early intervention.
http://www.preventknifecrime.co.uk

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