21/01/2022: Stop caging people with autism and learning disabilities, says Robert Buckland

Ex-Justice Secretary Sir Robert Buckland is calling for changes to mental health laws to stop people with autism or learning disabilities being detained in hospitals for long periods. Last year, the BBC found that 100 people with learning disabilities and autism had been held in hospitals for at least 20 years. Sir Robert said the “effective caging of human beings” was “out of date”.

Read: BBC

20/01/2022: Youth organisations rally to support young rough sleepers

Youth organisations have rallied to support young homeless people as temperatures drop amid an increase in rough sleepers aged under 25. Charity data shows that, since the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, 11 per cent of rough sleepers in London have been under the age of 25.

Read: Children and Young People Now

19/01/2022: Care leavers feel they left care too early, Ofsted research shows

More than a third of care leavers feel they left care too early and report feeling “lonely”, “unsafe” and unable to manage finances, a new report by Ofsted reveals. The inspectorate’s new report Ready or not: care leavers’ views of preparing to leave care notes that those who believe they left care too early said the transition had happened “abruptly” and they were not ready for the sudden change.

Read: Children and Young People Now

19/01/2022: Number of children in extreme poverty rises to 550,000

The number of children living in destitution has increased to 550,000, according to latest figures analysed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It found that “worryingly” there has been “a big rise in destitution” which now affects one million households, involving 2.4m people and including 550,000 children.

Read: Children and Young People Now

18/01/2022: Self-harm guidance to include advice for schools and prisons

Staff in schools and prisons in England and Wales are for the first time to be included in draft guidance on how to identify people who have self-harmed. The experts behind it said everyone was responsible for tackling the growing problem of self-harm – not just mental health professionals. A mental health charity said the guidance would empower teachers to support young people.

Read: BBC

18/01/2022: Thousands of student gambling addicts ‘spending £30 a week on habit’

Thousands of student gambling addicts are spending an average of £30 a week on betting, racking up debts and missing out on university life to fund their habit, research has found. In a survey of 2,000 students, 80% said they gambled, with 35% of those who did admitting using their student loan, bank overdrafts, borrowing from friends or taking out payday loans.

Read: Guardian

14/01/2022: Breastfeeding: Mothers hope law change will create better experiences

Photographing breastfeeding mothers without consent is to be made a crime. We spoke to mums in Essex about how they think it will change attitudes to breastfeeding going forward. Earlier this month, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab announced that the new law it would be added to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill going through Parliament.

Read: BBC

14/01/2022: Isolation and social media among factors behind surge in eating disorders during pandemic, charities warn

Increased time spent on social media, isolation from friends, and disrupted school routines are among factors behind a surge in young people being treated for eating disorders during the pandemic, charities have warned. The number of people supported by charity Beat, which works with people with eating disorders, has increased by 150 per cent since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, figures show.

Read: Children and Young People Now

10/01/2022: Water safety: Ruthin mum’s bid to cut drowning deaths

A grieving mother’s campaign to help lower the risk of accidental drowning in lakes and reservoirs is to be discussed by politicians. Mark Allen, 18, died after jumping into a reservoir to cool off on a hot summer day in 2018 while out with friends.

Read: BBC

02/01/2022: More than half of UK’s black children live in poverty, analysis shows

More than half of black children in the UK are now growing up in poverty, a new analysis of official data has revealed. Black children are also now more than twice as likely to be growing up poor as white children, according to the Labour party research, which was based on government figures for households that have a “relative low income” – defined as being below 60% of the median, the standard definition for poverty.

Read: Guardian

20/12/2021: Call to reverse underfunding of mental health support for young people

A comprehensive investment strategy is needed to remedy chronic underfunding of mental health support for children, researchers say. The Centre for Mental Health says such a strategy is needed to address gaps in the recent spending review and should include sufficient funding for essential services as well as investments in whole-school approaches to mental health.

Read: Children and Young People Now

16/12/2021: ‘A lot fell into place’: the adults who discovered they were autistic – after their child was diagnosed

The recorded incidence of autism has increased 787% in 20 years. For many parents, getting help for an autistic child alerted them to their own traits. When John Purnell’s 10-year-old son was diagnosed as autistic, he knew exactly how to respond. “I’ve always been fascinated by research, by detail, by finding out everything there is to find out about something,” he says. “So I did a really deep dive.”

Read: Guardian

15/12/2021: Three in five LGBTQ+ young people abused online

Around 60 per cent of young LGBTQ+ people have been subjected to hate speech online, a survey has revealed. The survey, of more than 1,500 young people, found that three in five of those from the LGBTQ+ community had experienced hateful content online that had made them upset. In comparison 41 per cent of heterosexual young people said they had experienced such content.

Read: Children and Young People Now

15/12/2021: Youth homelessness up a quarter on pre-pandemic levels, Centrepoint reveals

Calls to Centrepoint’s youth homelessness helpline have increased by almost a quarter on pre-pandemic levels, the charity has said. The health crisis has “supercharged” challenges facing young people in terms of the causes of homelessness and barriers to accessing accommodation, Centrepoint helpline manager Paul Brocklehurst said. Calls to the helpline hit 25,000 last month, less than five years after it launched in February 2017, figures show.

Read: Children and Young People Now

15/12/2021: The fears of five-year-olds: how young children cope with Covid anxiety

Older children had exams cancelled and their futures thrown into doubt. But what has been the toll on primary pupils who began school during the pandemic?

Read: Guardian