06/10/2022: Universities told to contact students’ loved ones to stop suicides
Universities are being told to contact key family members, carers or friends if they have serious concerns about a student’s mental health – even without their permission. Students should register a “trusted contact” when they start university, according to new guidance.
03/10/2022: Cost of living: Young cancer patients ‘in a desperate situation’
Charities are warning that young cancer patients facing soaring living costs are in a “desperate” situation. Both Macmillan Cancer Support and Young Lives vs Cancer say they’ve seen dramatic increases in the number of people asking for emergency grants.
03/10/2022: Attachment Theory In Probation Practice
Attachment theory can contribute to work with people on probation in conceptualising the supervisory relationship, and in understanding offending, risk and relationships.
Read: Russell Webster
03/10/2022: Around 2.6 million young people used an illegal drug in past year, charity finds
According to youth charity The Mix, there has been a 75% increase since last year in young people using substances to help them with life’s problems, with one in five users doing just that.
02/10/2022: April Jones: Is the internet safer after April Jones’ murder?
April Jones’ murder brought policies that were “game-changers” in protecting children, says one regulatory body. April, five, from Machynlleth, Powys, was abducted and killed in 2012 by Mark Bridger, who had a mass of child abuse images on his computer. Her parents pushed for change and the Internet Watch Foundation were given powers that has since seen them remove millions of images.
02/10/2022: Third of primary school teachers ‘struggling to buy food’ as cost of living crisis sparks fears for education
A third of primary school teachers are struggling to afford food as a result of the cost of living crisis, sparking concerns for children’s education. In a poll shared exclusively with The Independent, nearly 30 per cent said financial pressures were also impacting their ability to do their job well.
01/10/2022: How vulnerable teenagers are being bombarded with a torrent of self-harm and suicide content within minutes of joining the platform
Vulnerable teenagers are being bombarded with a torrent of self-harm and suicide content on TikTok within minutes of joining the platform, a Daily Mail investigation found. An account set up by the Daily Mail as 14-year-old Emily was shown posts about suicidal thoughts within five minutes of expressing an interest in depression content.
Read: Daily Mail
01/10/2022: ‘Poisonous’: how WhatsApp is exposing UK school children to bullying and harmful content
Teachers say they are powerless to deal with damaging elements of social media and are calling for more parental vigilance. Victoria Tully, co-headteacher at Fulham Cross girls’ school, a state secondary in west London, had no idea that her new first years had invited people from outside the school to join their WhatsApp group.
30/09/2022: The school fines lottery for parents with absent children
Parents in England whose children miss school face harsher penalties depending on where they live, a BBC Panorama investigation has found. Fines, which begin at £60, but rise if not paid promptly, totalled more than £8.6m in the past school year. But some local councils told us no penalties had been issued, while other authorities handed out thousands.
30/09/2022: Molly Russell: Social media a factor in teenager’s death, coroner says
The “negative effects of online content” were a factor in the death of a girl who took her own life, an inquest has found. Coroner Andrew Walker said material viewed by 14-year-old Molly Russell on social media “shouldn’t have been available for a child to see”. Molly, from Harrow, viewed thousands of images of self-harm and suicide before she died in November 2017.
30/09/2022: In her own words – Molly Russell’s secret Twitter account
Unsafe online content contributed “in a more than minimal way” to the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell, an inquest found on Friday. Early in the inquest it was revealed that Molly – who took her own life in 2017 – had a secret Twitter account which she used to express her thoughts about her worsening depression.
30/09/2022: Social media firms ‘monetising misery’, says Molly Russell’s father after inquest
Coroner finds harmful online content likely to have contributed to Molly’s death ‘in a more than minimal way’. Molly Russell’s father has accused the world’s biggest social media firms of “monetising misery” after an inquest ruled that harmful online content contributed to the 14-year-old’s death.
30/09/2022: Molly Russell inquest findings
The inquest findings into the death of Molly Russell released today, told she took her own life while suffering from depression and had interacted with harmful social media content. Unsafe online content contributed “in a more than minimal way” to the death of a girl who took her own life, an inquest has found.
29/09/2022: Young non-smokers told not to take up vaping by experts
Young non-smokers are being advised not to take up vaping. Researchers looked at the evidence and say while vaping is far safer than cigarettes, the long-term effects of vapes are still unknown. Vaping causes less exposure to harmful toxins than smoking, say the experts, who were tasked by the government with looking at the issue.
29/09/2022: How social workers can help schools address harmful sexual behaviour
Social workers are often expected to be the experts in responding to harmful sexual behaviour by children, but their training can often make them feel powerless to act. A new guide from The CSA Centre seeks to help.
Read: Community Care
29/09/2022: Instagram and Pinterest were ‘ignorantly blind’ and contributed to the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell, inquest hears
Schoolgirl Molly Russell liked more than 2,000 images about depression, suicide and self-harm before taking her own life but Instagram and Pinterest were ‘ignorantly blind’ to their part in her death, an inquest heard today. The 14-year-old from Harrow, northwest London, died in 2017 after hiding her ‘demons’ from her family while viewing thousands of harrowing posts and videos.
Read: Daily Mail
29/09/2022: Behaviour adviser urges English schools to crack down on pupils’ vaping
The government’s school behaviour adviser has called on headteachers to crack down on vaping among pupils, calling it “a huge health hazard” and an “enormous distraction”, amid reports that more children are using the devices, including some of primary age.
28/09/2022: Just one in five teachers confident in delivering lessons to tackle sexual harassment
Most teachers lack the confidence to deliver lessons around countering harmful sexual behaviour and sexual harassment, a report is warning. Among secondary school teachers, just 19 per cent said they were confident enough to advise pupils on these subjects within sex and relationships education (SRE) lessons.
28/09/2022: DfE merges schools and children’s social care responsibilities under new minister
Kelly Tolhurst becomes sixth children’s social care minister in four years, but appointment sees role upgraded in status from junior to mid-ranking ministerial level.
Read: Community Care
27/09/2022: ‘I’m just not good enough’: Words from ‘depressive’ Instagram post were used in note Molly Russell left behind, inquest hears
Molly Russell left behind a note quoting an Instagram post which said ‘I’m just not good enough’ before taking her life, an inquest heard yesterday. Oliver Sanders KC, the Russell family’s lawyer, suggested the ‘dreadful, disgusting’ content the 14-year-old viewed on the platform, had ‘influenced’ her real-world actions.
Read: Daily Mail
27/09/2022: Keeping Young People In Contact With The Justice System Safe
Last Friday (23 September 2022), Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation published the latest in their Research and Analysis Bulletin series: The identification of safety concerns relating to children. A key objective for those delivering youth offending services is to keep children and other people safe, which sits alongside and supports the all-important nurturing and strengths-focused work that helps children to realise their potential.
Read: Russell Webster
27/09/2022: DfE names Kelly Tolhurst as minister for schools and childhood
Kelly Tolhurst has been named as the Department for Education’s new minister for schools and childhood. Tolhurst, MP for Rochester and Strood, who was deputy chief whip at the Treasury, will take on responsibilities previously shared between the roles of children’s minister and schools minister.
27/09/2022: Psychiatrist ‘unable to sleep’ after seeing material viewed by Molly Russell
A child psychiatrist has told the inquest into Molly Russell’s death he was unable to sleep well for “a few weeks” after seeing social media content viewed by the teenager before she killed herself. Dr Navin Venugopal told North London coroner’s court the self-harm content viewed by Molly before her death was “very disturbing” and “distressing”.
26/09/2022: What’s It Like Being Addicted To Gambling?
True to life, even a gambling addiction has to start somewhere. I suppose my actual beginning was when I was very young and waiting outside the bookmakers for my uncle to place his bets on the days horse racing. Betting shops were seen as dark places, filled with smoke and old men who had nothing better to do. I guess this would be my beginning, but in those days you had to be 18 to enter, just like today.
Read: Russell Webster
26/09/2022: Why language matters: “hidden” in plain sight
“Hidden men” and “invisible fathers” are terms often used in response to the idea that male caregivers in a child’s life can sometimes be excluded from services or overlooked by professionals working with children and their families.