10/06/2022: NSPCC says child cruelty offences rose by a quarter in a year
The number of child cruelty offences in England jumped by a quarter last year, according to police data collected by the NSPCC. The child protection charity blames the stress many families felt during the pandemic for the rise, and backs recent high-profile calls for earlier help.
10/06/2022: ‘Why the evidence does not support multi-agency child protection units’
The Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson review’s call for specialist safeguarding units risks exacerbating a “culture of investigation” that has built up over the past decade, says social work academic Andy Bilson.
Read: Community Care
06/06/2022: Digital fingerprints of a million child abuse images made
Digital fingerprints of a million images of child sexual abuse have been created, the Internet Watch Foundation has said. The UK charity, which is responsible for finding and removing such material online, said the fingerprints, known as hashes, would help companies and police find copies of the images. It is hoped that by doing this, the reuse of the images can be prevented.
28/05/2022: Star Hobson: Why do these child deaths keep happening?
“Why didn’t they listen to us?”… Nearly two years after Star Hobson was murdered by her mother’s girlfriend, the toddler’s aunt and step-great grandfather still have so many questions. Sitting on their sofa, I look up at the photos of Star – with her large blue eyes – on the walls and the mantelpiece.
27/05/2022: Twenty per cent rise in children’s social workers quitting sector last year, suggest government figures
DfE analysis finds one in 12 children’s social workers appear to have quit local authority practice in year to September 2021, as report for care review highlights poor working conditions
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26/05/2022: Star Hobson: Review into toddler’s death frustrating, family says
The family of murdered Star Hobson say the findings of a review into her death have left them “angry and frustrated”. Star’s mother Frankie Smith and her partner Savannah Brockhill were jailed for their roles in the toddler’s death. The report found professionals accepted the couple’s explanations for Star’s injuries too readily and failed to properly investigate family concerns.
26/05/2022: Review recommends expert child protection units in wake of Star and Arthur deaths
The development of an expert child protection unit in every local area has been recommended in response to the deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson.
23/05/2022: Care system: Help families before they reach crisis, urges review
Tens of thousands more children could end up in care without radical changes to child protection, a “once-in a generation” review has warned. The review of England’s council-run children’s services says struggling families need early intervention to ensure they do not reach crisis point. The recommendations include phasing out young offender institutions and a drive to recruit more foster parents.
20/05/2022: ‘Why only specialist child protection teams will tackle the annual child death toll’
Child protection will only improve if we enhance the core analytical and investigative skills the role requires – which is why the social care review should recommend the creation of specialist teams, writes Sir Alan Wood.
Read: Community Care
20/05/2022: Revenge Porn Helpline Report Launch – Cases and Trends Seen in 2021
Today the Revenge Porn Helpline, run by SWGfL and the UK Safer Internet Centre have launched their 2021 report showing the trends and issues that were prominent throughout the year. The report found that cases increased by over 40% between 2020 and 2021, rising from 3,146 cases to 4,406.
12/05/2022: New European proposals show ‘welcome determination to front up to criminals’ abusing and exploiting children online
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) says new European proposals to combat child sexual abuse online show a “welcome determination to front up to criminals” who have made Europe the “destination of choice” for hosting this content. On May 11, the European Commission announced its new European strategy for laying down rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse.
11/05/2022: Rise in reports of children abusing other children
The number of calls to a children’s helpline about harmful sexual behaviour between young people increased by 29% over the last year. The NSPCC received 2,365 calls and staff made almost 600 referrals to external agencies, including the police and social services. The charity says the relationship and sex education curriculum in schools needs to be properly resourced.
09/05/2022: Stronger safeguards ‘could reduce care leavers’ risk of homelessness’
The government needs to address rising numbers of young care leavers becoming homeless by introducing a series of stronger safeguards, a report warns. A joint briefing published by Just for Kids Law together with New Horizon Youth Centre and Youth Legal says there are simple measures that could be brought in that would tackle the problem of homelessness among care leavers.
09/05/2022: UK must protect child influencers from exploitation, MPs say
The government must introduce legislation to protect child social media influencers from exploitation, investigate adult pay standards in the industry and do more to force influencers to flag paid-for content, according to MPs.
05/05/2022: Scores of safeguarding complaints at after-school clubs
Dozens of allegations of safeguarding failures in after-school clubs – including assaults, neglect and sexual abuse – have been uncovered by BBC News. More than 80 referrals have been made about clubs in school grounds in the past five years, according to information requests.