News

Youth Justice

20/01/2022: Expanding Out-Of-Court Disposals And Diversion Schemes

Crest Advisory has just (19 January 2022) published a major new report on the front-end of the criminal justice system, specifically Out-of-Court Disposals (OOCDs) and diversion schemes. The research included analysis of the latest evidence and trends across England and Wales, an in-depth study in the Thames Valley Police force area and a nationally representative survey.

Read: Russell Webster

20/01/2022: MoJ Has Under Invested In Its Female Offender Strategy

The Ministry of Justice has made limited progress on its Female Offender Strategy to improve outcomes for women in the criminal justice system because it has not prioritised investment in this work, according to a report published yesterday by the National Audit Office (NAO). As readers know, women in the justice system have distinct needs and worse outcomes than men.

Read: Russell Webster

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Staff in schools and prisons in England and Wales are for the first time to be included in draft guidance on how to identify people who have self-harmed.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

14/01/2022: ‘Disgraceful’ Covid-19 restrictions on children in prison to end in March

Secondary legislation which allowed children in prison to be locked in cells for up to 22 hours a day at the height of the pandemic will end in March, it has been confirmed.

Read: Children and Young People Now

13/01/2022: Legal protections within child prisons to be reinstated in March

Article 39 and the Howard League for Penal Reform today (Thursday 13 January) welcome the fact that new secondary legislation has been introduced that ends the curtailment of critical legal protections to people in prison, including children, that were imposed early on in the pandemic.

Read: The Howard League for Penal Reform

08/01/2022: Great Information Resource For Justice Practitioners

The Butler Trust’s Knowledge Exchange site now has over 400 resources for prison, probation and youth justice practitioners.

Read: Russell Webster

05/01/2022: Pilot scheme bids to scrap criminal sentences for young people caught with cannabis

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is looking to trial the scrapping of criminal sentences for young people caught in possession of cannabis to divert them away from the criminal justice system. The trial is being developed for three out of London’s 32 boroughs and would only apply to young people aged between 18 to 24 caught in possession of a small amount of cannabis.

Read: Children and Young People Now

08/12/2021: The link between poverty, inequality and repeat contact with policing

A new report from the charity Revolving Doors as part of its New Generation Policing programme combines a literature review and peer-led qualitative research to demonstrate how the issues of poverty, trauma and policing interact for young adults aged 18-25.

Read: Work with Offenders

06/12/2021: A youth justice system that works for children

Last week a coalition of service, strategic and political leaders in local government published a joint policy position paper on youth justice, calling for a move towards a more localised, responsive and child-centred system in the future. The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), Association of Youth Offending Team Mangers (AYM) and the Local Government Association (LGA) came together to push for a change in direction in youth justice policy.

Read: Work with Offenders

01/12/2021: Youth projects share £18m to divert children away from crime

Ten youth projects will share £18m to provide alternatives for young people at risk of committing crime. The funding is being handed out by the Youth Endowment Fund and aims to support more than 7,300 children. Projects will provide young people with alternatives to being arrested, convicted, and receiving a custodial sentence.

Read: Children and Young People Now

25/11/2021: Children’s sector leaders call for overhaul of youth justice system

Children services leaders have called for major youth justice reforms, including raising the age of criminal responsibility and creating a more “responsive and child centred system”.

Read: Children and Young People Now

23/11/2021: Does the criminal justice system punish young people for their abuse?

There is a continuing debate about the extent to which young people involved in County Lines drug dealing gangs are criminals or victims. We also know that although the numbers of children detained in custody has reduced massively over recent years (there was an average of just over 780 children in custody at any one time during 2019/20, a fall of 68% compared with ten years ago), those who are detained have very complex needs. This issue was brought under the spotlight even more by new research commissioned by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and published earlier this year. The “Punishing Abuse” report authored by Dr Alex Chard, argues that a number of children in the youth justice system are being punished as a consequence of the impact on their behaviours of their early abuse and loss.

Read: Work with Offenders

11/11/2021: Communicating Sentences to Children – updated Crown Court Compendium Part II – Sentencing (published 31 August 2021)

The most recent edition of the Crown Court Compendium Part II: Sentencing has been revised to include relevant considerations when sentencing children, in relation to both the legal framework and language and communication.

Read: Youth Justice Legal Centre

05/11/2021: Girls In Custody

A recent (October 2021) report by the Centre For Mental Health looks at the needs of girls in the Children and Young People Secure Estate (CYPSE). Out of Sight, authored by Lorraine Khan, Androulla Harris and Curtis Sinclair, was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement in partnership with the Youth Custody Service. The review is informed by interviews with girls who had been in the CYPSE, conducted by Leaders Unlocked.

Read: Russell Webster

28/10/2021: Sharp Rise In Prison Self-Harm

Today’s (28 October 2021) Safety in Custody Statistics make for particularly grim reading. The figures, which cover deaths in prison in the 12 months up to September this year and assaults and self harm in the year to June, are, frankly shocking.

Read: Russell Webster

Violence

21/01/2022: London violence: Children as young as 10 fear being stabbed

London set an unwelcome new record of 30 teenage stabbing homicides in 2021, while a third of all of England’s stabbing deaths are reported by the Metropolitan Police. The picture in the capital is bleak: fearful for their safety, more children are carrying knives, community workers say. Some pupils are so afraid of being attacked they are being shuttled to school by taxi.

Read: BBC

18/01/2022: Universities pledge to stop silencing sex-assault victims

Victims of sexual harassment at some UK universities will no longer be silenced by “gagging” clauses, as part of a pledge backed by the government. A 2020 BBC News investigation found nearly a third of universities had used non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to silence student complaints about sexual misconduct, bullying and harassment. Now, the government is asking the more than 150 universities in the UK not to use NDAs for such “shabby practice”.

Read: BBC

18/01/2022: Sutton-in-Ashfield safety app trial for women and girls

Six apps aimed at making women and girls feel safer on the streets are being trialled in a Nottinghamshire town. Ashfield District Council is testing the effectiveness of a series of smartphone apps in Sutton-in-Ashfield. The pilot will see six female volunteers trial each app, which will allow them to use features such as making touch-activated SOS calls.

Read: BBC

11/01/2022: Young people lead research into impact of knife images on social media

The impact of social media images of knives on young Londoners will be examined in new research conducted by a group of young people. Young People’s Action Group is working with London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) to examine the perception of knife carrying in London, and young people’s response to knife imagery, working specifically with Londoners aged between 16 and 25.

Read: Children and Young People Now

10/01/2022: ‘Lives being wasted’ to knife crime after cuts to hundreds of youth centres, says Ian Wright

Former England footballer Ian Wright has linked funding cuts to youth centres to “lives being wasted” at an anti-knife crime initiative launched by Arsenal Football Club. The No More Red initiative aims to keep young people safe from knife crime and youth violence, and is being supported by former Arsenal striker Wright as well as Gunners fan, actor and DJ Idris Elba.

Read: Sky

07/01/2022: Violence reduction scheme sees youth workers chaperone walk to school

Professionals have been placed in busy areas across Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Wolverhampton as part of a pilot scheme to reduce youth crime before and after school. The scheme, called Step Together, will see youth workers placed along 18 routes to schools across the West Midlands as part of the £1.2m project funded by the Home Office and the Youth Endowment Fund.

Read: Children and Young People Now

03/01/2022: Glorification of Plymouth shooter by ‘incels’ prompts calls for action

The man who gunned down seven people, killing five, in a rampage in Plymouth is being lionised by an online “incel” community, with some ironically venerating him as a “saint” and celebrating the attack as an aid to their recruitment drive.

Read: Guardian

15/12/2021: Ministers urged to triple early intervention funding after child deaths

Charity Save the Children is calling on ministers to introduce an urgent boost in early intervention funding to prevent further child deaths following the murders of Star Hobson and Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. Dan Paskins, Save the Children’s director of UK impact, says the government needs to “immediately triple early intervention funding to ensure children and families get help when they need it”.

Read: Children and Young People Now

12/12/2021: The technology helping keep women safe on the streets

Half of all women have felt unsafe at some point walking alone in the dark, according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics. They might call a friend, share their location on WhatsApp, or have their keys to hand – all strategies to stay secure. Sexual harassment against females has been under the spotlight for most of this year, with women across the UK turning to their own methods to feel better when they are out at night.

Read:

12/12/2021: Instagram influencer received ‘hundreds’ of obscene photos

A social media influencer said she had been the victim of cyber-flashing for the past 10 years. Podcaster Jess Davies, from Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, said she had received hundreds of unsolicited obscene images. Calls are growing for cyber-flashing to become a crime as part of measures to toughen laws on online safety.

Read: BBC

10/12/2021: Student stalked at university calls for change

A woman who was stalked and threatened with kidnap by a fellow student has told the BBC her university’s failure to act swiftly left her terrified. Katie, which is not her real name, now wants universities to overhaul policies on how to deal with sexual misconduct. Sahil Bhavnani admitted stalking, and was given a four-month suspended sentence this week.

Read: BBC

09/12/2021: Concern over increase in county lines grooming during pandemic

Almost half of parents and carers say the risk of children being exploited by drug gangs in their local area has increased during the pandemic, according to The Children’s Society. Some 46 per cent of parents, foster parents and legal guardians surveyed by the charity said they think the risk of children being criminally exploited has increased in their locality since March last year when Covid-19 restrictions were first introduced.

Read: Children and Young People Now

08/12/2021: Sex and consent: How parents can talk to their children

Talking about sex, relationships and consent may be the last topic some parents would like to broach with their child. However, there’s growing evidence they are probably already talking about sex. More worryingly, they may have already seen pornography on social media or possibly seen some form of sexual harassment, been victim to it, or perhaps were responsible for it – either online, in school or elsewhere.

Read: BBC

08/12/2021: Pupils pressured regularly for nude photos, Estyn report finds

Pupils are pressured regularly to send nude photos and girls harassed over the length of their skirts, a school inspection report has found. About half of secondary pupils said they had experienced sexual harassment from fellow students. Estyn’s study found many pupils would not tell their teachers, as incidents had become “normalised” and teachers often dismissed them as “trivial”.

Read: BBC

06/12/2021: County lines: Government pledges to dismantle 2,000 gangs in drug policy overhaul

The government is pledging to dismantle 2,000 county lines gangs as part of a drugs policy overhaul. The £300m commitment is one proposal in the new 10-year drug strategy for England and Wales. Policing minister Kit Malthouse said the total funding would be £900m over three years, including major investments in treatment.

Read: BBC

Technology

22/01/2022: NCA says end-to-end encryption poses challenge for law enforcers on child abuse

The National Crime Agency has said that end-to-end encryption risks “turning the lights out” for law enforcers trying to prevent child abuse, after the UK data watchdog said failure to introduce strongly encrypted messaging poses a risk to children. The NCA said referrals from social media companies led to 500 arrests and safeguarded 650 children every month in the UK, but that will become “much more challenging” to achieve under widespread use of end-to-end encryption.

Read: Guardian

18/01/2022: 2022 Online Safety Live Events Available For UK Safer Internet Centre

What better way to start the new year than being kept up-to-date on the latest online safety news? The UK Safer Internet Centre runs free Online Safety Live events throughout the year, available to any professional who works with children and young people. The information provided can assist police officers, social care workers, foster carers, safeguarding professionals and many more, as well as teachers

Read: South West Grid for Learning

14/01/2022: The Evolution of Online Safety in Gaming

We see ourselves living in an ‘online’ world, surrounded by devices, constantly interacting, socialising and communicating with ease on a daily basis. It’s quite amazing really, particularly when you look back and see how things used to be. It’s fair to say that gaming has changed and adapted rapidly, across the modern era.

Read: South West Grid for Learning

13/01/2022: Surge in online sexual abuse of young children

Online sexual abuse of young children aged between seven and 10 increased three-fold last year, new research shows. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has warned that younger children are being targeted by online groomers “on an industrial scale”.

Read: Children and Young People Now

13/01/2022: 2021 was worst year on record for online child sexual abuse, says IWF

Internet grooming of children has surged during lockdown, according to new research that found a threefold increase in online sexual abuse imagery featuring seven to 10-year-olds.

Read: Guardian

13/01/2022: Three-fold increase of abuse imagery of 7-10-year-olds as IWF detects more child sexual abuse material online than ever before

Last year was the worst year on record for child sexual abuse online as lockdowns saw younger and younger children being targeted “on an industrial scale” by internet groomers. New figures show that, in 2021, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) took action against 252,000 URLs which it confirmed contained images or videos of children being raped and suffering sexual abuse.

Read: Internet Watch Foundation

11/01/2022: Fighting the darknet drug dealers who keep coming back

Claire Campbell’s 16-year-old son, Luke, died after taking ecstasy bought by friends on the darknet – a part of the internet that can only be accessed with special software. One of the biggest illegal marketplaces on there, Torrez, went offline last month after two years of selling Class A drugs, counterfeit cash and hacking tools. But one darknet drug dealer has told the BBC that law enforcement face an “impossible task” trying to close down such sites.

Read: BBC

11/01/2022: Young people lead research into impact of knife images on social media

The impact of social media images of knives on young Londoners will be examined in new research conducted by a group of young people. Young People’s Action Group is working with London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) to examine the perception of knife carrying in London, and young people’s response to knife imagery, working specifically with Londoners aged between 16 and 25.

Read: Children and Young People Now

09/01/2022: UK data watchdog seeks talks with Meta over child protection concerns

The UK’s data watchdog is seeking clarification from Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta about parental controls on its popular virtual reality headset, as campaigners warned that it could breach an online children’s safety code.

Read: Guardian

07/01/2022: Get Ready for Safer Internet Day 2022

While we all may be getting back in the swing of things, there’s already plenty to look forward to for the new school term. Safer Internet Day is just over a month away and there’s already so much you can do to get involved. Take a look at some of the activities you can do below to show your support on the 8th February 2022.

Read: South West Grid for Learning

03/01/2022: Glorification of Plymouth shooter by ‘incels’ prompts calls for action

The man who gunned down seven people, killing five, in a rampage in Plymouth is being lionised by an online “incel” community, with some ironically venerating him as a “saint” and celebrating the attack as an aid to their recruitment drive.

Read: Guardian

16/12/2021: How to talk to your children about porn and other online harms

The children’s commissioner for England is advising parents to broach such topics early to limit future risks

Read: Guardian

16/12/2021: The IWF partners with the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children to launch portal to report child sexual abuse material

The online portal, hosted on ICMEC’s website, allows concerned internet users who do not have access to their own national reporting mechanism to easily and anonymously report child sexual abuse material on the internet.

Read: Internet Watch Foundation

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: Updated TikTok Checklist Available to Download

We have brought out an updated TikTok checklist available to download. Last week we hosted an online event with TikTok titled ‘Exploring Media Literacy’ where the new checklist was introduced. The event also highlighted some of the latest privacy and security settings made available on the online platform. The checklist breaks down how users can perform certain actions to keep their profiles more in their control.

Read: South West Grid for Learning

Trauma Informed

20/01/2022: Trauma-informed care ‘failing to meet expectations’

Methods used by social workers that focus on supporting children in care who have experienced trauma are failing to meet expectations, a new study suggests. Trauma-informed care (TIC), which considers the abuse and neglect experienced by looked-after children, is widely used in social work and is expected to lead to effective support.

Read: Children and Young People Now

15/12/2021: Ministers urged to triple early intervention funding after child deaths

Charity Save the Children is calling on ministers to introduce an urgent boost in early intervention funding to prevent further child deaths following the murders of Star Hobson and Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. Dan Paskins, Save the Children’s director of UK impact, says the government needs to “immediately triple early intervention funding to ensure children and families get help when they need it”.

Read: Children and Young People Now

29/11/2021: Trauma: NI teachers taught to spot children’s fears

An educational training programme to help raise awareness of the effect of trauma on children has been launched in Northern Ireland. The training will give 60,000 education staff the opportunity to improve their understanding of trauma. Education Minister Michelle McIlveen said she was confident the “thought provoking” training would help children achieve their full potential.

Read: BBC

29/11/2021: Serious Youth Violence And Adverse Childhood Experiences

The latest report from the probation inspectorate in its Academic Insights series summarises findings from recent research in Manchester which explored adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), serious youth violence (SYV), trauma-informed practice, and youth participation. The children in the study typically had multiple ACEs, and the authors, Paul Gray, Hannah Smithson and Deborah Jump, highlight how knowledge and understanding of these ACEs should be used to co-develop with children, personalised approaches to addressing their involvement in serious youth violence which consider both socio-cultural and psycho-social factors.

Read: Russell Webster

19/11/2021: Child vulnerability crisis sparked by decade of early help cuts, Lords warn

More than a million vulnerable children’s life chances are being damaged by a decade of cuts to support services that should be reversed, the House of Lords Public Services Committee has said.

Read: Children and Young People Now

20/08/2021: Increased Focus On Prevention And Early Intervention

In part 2 of her Review of Drugs, Dame Carol Black says we need increased focus on primary prevention and early intervention.

Read: Russell Webster

18/06/2021: Kate Middleton launches Centre for Early Childhood

The Duchess of Cambridge has launched the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in a bid to raise awareness of the importance of the early years. The centre, which has been developed with input from the Anna Freud Centre, will focus on research, working with people across the private, public and voluntary sectors on new solutions and campaigning to raise awareness.

Read: Children and Young People Now

15/04/2021: Early intervention investment could save councils £7bn, researchers say

Councils in England with above-average rates of looked-after children could save a total of £7bn over the next decade by focusing on early intervention policies that target vulnerable families, according to researchers. The research focuses on the long-term savings that can be achieved through early intervention strategies across four areas, which have a higher than England’s average rate of looked after children, which is 67 per 10,000 children.

Read: Children and Young People Now

26/03/2021: Most children in youth justice system have suffered trauma, research suggests

The majority of children in the youth justice system have been subject to abuse, trauma or poverty, new research shows. The Punishing Abuse report, published by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, raises concerns that “a number of children in the youth justice system are being punished as a consequence of the impact on their behaviours of their early abuse and loss.”

Read: Children and Young People Now

Safeguarding

24/01/2022: Sex trafficking: Children groomed in Romania sent to UK

The BBC has found that children as young as 10 are being groomed in Romania, to be trafficked to the UK. Once they arrive as teenagers, they’re kept captive and pimped out for sex. With police struggling to stop this brutal trade, BBC correspondent Jean Mackenzie has spent two years travelling between Romania and the UK. She uncovers why this industry is thriving, as she meets the girls being bought and sold.

Read: BBC

22/01/2022: NCA says end-to-end encryption poses challenge for law enforcers on child abuse

The National Crime Agency has said that end-to-end encryption risks “turning the lights out” for law enforcers trying to prevent child abuse, after the UK data watchdog said failure to introduce strongly encrypted messaging poses a risk to children. The NCA said referrals from social media companies led to 500 arrests and safeguarded 650 children every month in the UK, but that will become “much more challenging” to achieve under widespread use of end-to-end encryption.

Read: Guardian

19/01/2022: Child sexual abuse prosecutions and convictions roughly halve in 4 years

Our latest research finds child sexual abuse (CSA) prosecutions and convictions are falling and young people are facing increasingly long and distressing court delays. Distress includes sleeping and eating problems, depression, panic attacks and self-harm due to a lack of support in the criminal justice system.

Read: NSPCC

13/01/2022: Surge in online sexual abuse of young children

Online sexual abuse of young children aged between seven and 10 increased three-fold last year, new research shows. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has warned that younger children are being targeted by online groomers “on an industrial scale”.

Read: Children and Young People Now

13/01/2022: 2021 was worst year on record for online child sexual abuse, says IWF

Internet grooming of children has surged during lockdown, according to new research that found a threefold increase in online sexual abuse imagery featuring seven to 10-year-olds.

Read: Guardian

13/01/2022: Three-fold increase of abuse imagery of 7-10-year-olds as IWF detects more child sexual abuse material online than ever before

Last year was the worst year on record for child sexual abuse online as lockdowns saw younger and younger children being targeted “on an industrial scale” by internet groomers. New figures show that, in 2021, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) took action against 252,000 URLs which it confirmed contained images or videos of children being raped and suffering sexual abuse.

Read: Internet Watch Foundation

10/01/2022: Calls to male sexual abuse helpline double in 2021

More than 7,000 calls, texts and emails were received by Safeline’s male helpline in 2021 – more than double the number of 2020. It’s one of several services the charity runs for survivors of sexual abuse, and has seen a huge rise in people reaching out for help. The charity’s Chief Executive Neil Henderson tells Radio 1 Newsbeat there was a 110% increase last year.

Read: BBC

09/01/2022: UK data watchdog seeks talks with Meta over child protection concerns

The UK’s data watchdog is seeking clarification from Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta about parental controls on its popular virtual reality headset, as campaigners warned that it could breach an online children’s safety code.

Read: Guardian

05/01/2022: ‘Working in partnership with families is crucial to safeguarding the interests of children’

This month, a local child safeguarding practice review into the horrific killing of 16-month-old Star Hobson is expected to publish its findings. By May, the government’s review into the circumstances behind six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’s murder is due to make recommendations around improvements to local and national child safeguarding practice.

Read: Community Care

05/01/2022: Fix ‘fundamental’ social care flaws that place teenagers at exploitation risk, report urges

Teenagers placed at risk of criminal and sexual exploitation by “fundamental” failures in the children’s social care system deserve a “brand-new offer”, a study has concluded. The report from the Commission on Young Lives, chaired by ex-children’s commissioner Anne Longfield, argued that while many children benefit from going into care, adolescents are too often let down by “piecemeal, uncoordinated and underfunded” services. Black boys are at particular danger both of being criminally exploited and of being treated as offenders rather than victims, it warned.

Read: Community Care

20/12/2021: Arthur inquiry must consider Covid context of social work practice

Interrogating the complexity of safeguarding professionals’ sensemaking against the backdrop of the pandemic is key to understanding what might have gone wrong in Arthur’s case, writes Kellie Thompson. Earlier this month we learned of the tragic death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, who died on 16 June 2020 at the hands of his stepmother Emma Tustin and father Thomas Hughes, who were convicted of murder and manslaughter for 29 and 21 years respectively.

Read: Community Care

18/12/2021: Vulnerable children in UK face their ‘most dangerous Christmas yet’

Charity says ‘toxic cocktail’ of financial pressure, disrupted festive plans and strained relationships create unsafe environment for youngsters. Many children are facing their “most dangerous Christmas yet” as uncertainty over Covid and the cumulative pressures of the pandemic heighten internal family tensions, the NSPCC has warned.

Read: Guardian

16/12/2021: The tragic deaths of Arthur and Star must lead to a more humane and supportive social care for families

Amid the blaze of publicity surrounding the appalling murders of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson there have been calls for more intervention and less aversion to taking children into care. Social workers have been told – by those both inside and outside children and families social work – they must not be fooled by manipulative and deceitful parents.

Read: Community Care

16/12/2021: National review of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes murder to recommend changes by May 2022

The government’s national review into the circumstances behind Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’s murder will report by May next year and recommend improvements to local and national child safeguarding practice.

Read: Community Care

16/12/2021: The IWF partners with the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children to launch portal to report child sexual abuse material

The online portal, hosted on ICMEC’s website, allows concerned internet users who do not have access to their own national reporting mechanism to easily and anonymously report child sexual abuse material on the internet.

Read: Internet Watch Foundation

Prevent

03/01/2022: Glorification of Plymouth shooter by ‘incels’ prompts calls for action

The man who gunned down seven people, killing five, in a rampage in Plymouth is being lionised by an online “incel” community, with some ironically venerating him as a “saint” and celebrating the attack as an aid to their recruitment drive.

Read: Guardian

01/12/2021: Warning issued to parents after ‘extremely concerning’ rise in number of children arrested for far-right terrorism offences

Counter-terror police are warning all parents to be vigilant as figures show a rise in the number of children being arrested for far-right terrorism offences. Police say lockdown created a “perfect storm” for teenagers to become radicalised by the far right. They describe an increase in the number of children being arrested as “extremely concerning”, adding that “the age range is getting younger”.

Read: Sky

19/11/2021: Extremists using online gaming and Covid conspiracies to recruit youngsters

Rightwing extremists are using Covid controversies and online gaming as a way of recruiting young people, as data shows half of the most serious cases of suspected radicalisation reported by schools and colleges now involve far-right activity. Figures published by the Home Office show twice as many young people in education in England and Wales last year were thought to be at risk of radicalisation by the extreme right-wing, compared with those at risk from Islamic extremists.

Read: Guardian

23/09/2021: Extremists using video-game chats to spread hate

Extremists are using mainstream video games and gaming chat platforms to spread hate, BBC Click has found. Over three months, researchers found anti-Semitism, racism and homophobia on platforms, including DLive and Odysee, where users stream and chat about games such as Call of Duty and Minecraft. Campaigners say including extremist narratives among everyday conversations can be a pathway to radicalisation.

Read: BBC

20/09/2021: The Role Of The Internet In Radicalising Extremists

The MoJ has just (16 September 2021) published new research “Exploring the role of the Internet in radicalisation and offending of convicted extremists.” Authored by Jonathan Kenyon, Jens Binder and Christopher Baker-Beall, the aim of the study was to establish the role of the Internet in radicalisation processes and offending of those convicted of extremist offences in England and Wales by comparing radicalisation pathways across 3 groups: those who primarily radicalised online; those who primarily radicalised offline; and those radicalised through both online and offline influences.

Read: Russell Webster

14/09/2021: Children forming ‘new generation of extremists’ in UK as terror threat shifts, Cressida Dick warns

Britain’s most senior police officer has warned of a “new generation of extremists” as increasing numbers of children are drawn into terrorist activity. Dame Cressida Dick, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, told an international summit that children now make up 13 per cent of terror suspects arrested in the UK after the figure tripled in a year.

Read: Independent

20/08/2021: Teachers in England encouraged to tackle ‘incel’ movement in the classroom

Teachers can help counteract the rise of the “incel” movement and the dangers of misogyny with school lessons on respect for women and healthy relationships, ministers believe. A government source said that Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, expects teachers to be able to tackle the risks from incel culture through the relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum within schools.

Read: Guardian

09/08/2021: Up to 70% of people referred to Prevent may have mental health issues

Up to seven in 10 people referred to the official scheme intended to stop people becoming terrorists may suffer from mental ill health or other vulnerabilities that could leave them prone to falling for propaganda from violent extremists.

Read: Guardian

03/07/2021: Facebook tests extremist content warning messages

Facebook is testing a feature in the US that asks users if they are worried somebody they know is becoming an extremist. Other users may also receive an alert saying they may have been exposed to extremist content. The trial messages are part of Facebook’s Redirect Initiative which aims to combat extremism. The pop-ups redirect users to a support page.

Read: BBC

02/07/2021: Most social workers ‘lack confidence’ in working with children at risk of radicalisation, finds DfE report

Study identifies challenges in identifying and addressing radicalisation because of practitioners’ lack of experience, and calls for more training and guidance and moots expansion of specialist roles. Most social workers lack confidence in working with children at risk of radicalisation because of their lack of experience, according to a report commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE).

Read: Community Care

28/06/2021: Muslim boy, 11, who told his class he wanted to give ‘alms’ to the needy is reported to anti-terror watchdog after his teacher thought he said ‘arms’

An 11-year-old Muslim schoolboy who told his class that he wanted to give charity to the needy was referred to controversial anti-terrorism watchdog Prevent after his teacher mistook the word ‘alms’ for ‘arms’. A legal challenge lodged by the parents against the school states that his teacher had asked the class what they would do if they inherited a large sum of money.

Read: Daily Mail

28/06/2021: Schoolboy set up far-right chat group and encouraged terrorist attacks, court hears

A 14-year-old schoolboy from Derbyshire set up a far-right chat group which encouraged fellow teenagers to launch terrorist attacks, a court has heard. The youth, who cannot be named because of his age, set up and managed the channel on messaging app Telegram. The channel was said to be of an extreme right-wing and “openly racist nature” and the youth boasted online that his criminal record would be cleared when he reached 18.

Read: Sky

22/03/2021: Neo-Nazi group targeting children as young as 14 during coronavirus lockdown

An international neo-Nazi group is targeting British teenagers as young as 14 for recruitment during the coronavirus lockdown, a report has found, as record numbers of children are arrested for terrorism offences. The National Partisan Movement (NPM) runs online channels where members “regularly express antisemitism, Holocaust denial and support for mass murderers”.

Read: Independent

09/03/2021: Naomi Klein: ‘We shouldn’t be surprised that kids are radicalised’

With How to Change Everything, the activist has written her first book for young people. She explains how she has been inspired by a new, very young generation of protesters.

Read: Guardian

Health and Wellbeing

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

Education

19/01/2022: Covid in schools: Inquiry launched to find 100,000 pupils absent in England

An inquiry is being launched into children who are not attending school in the wake of national lockdowns, the children’s commissioner for England has said. Dame Rachel de Souza said between 80,000 and 100,000 children were not on any school rolls at all. “Literally, I am going to go out and find them,” she told BBC News.

Read: BBC

18/01/2022: Universities pledge to stop silencing sex-assault victims

Victims of sexual harassment at some UK universities will no longer be silenced by “gagging” clauses, as part of a pledge backed by the government. A 2020 BBC News investigation found nearly a third of universities had used non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to silence student complaints about sexual misconduct, bullying and harassment. Now, the government is asking the more than 150 universities in the UK not to use NDAs for such “shabby practice”.

Read: BBC

10/01/2022: New Harmful Sexual Behaviour Support Service Launched

SWGfL and The Marie Collins Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of a brand new support service that is there to support professionals working with children and young people around tackling harmful sexual behaviour incidents, funded by the Home Office and in collaboration with the Department for Education.

Read: South West Grid for Learning

07/01/2022: Get Ready for Safer Internet Day 2022

While we all may be getting back in the swing of things, there’s already plenty to look forward to for the new school term. Safer Internet Day is just over a month away and there’s already so much you can do to get involved. Take a look at some of the activities you can do below to show your support on the 8th February 2022.

Read: South West Grid for Learning

03/01/2022: Heads warn of weeks of Omicron disruption in English schools

School leaders in England are warning of weeks of disruption owing to high levels of staff Covid absences, which could lead to children being sent home to learn remotely.

Read: Guardian

17/12/2021: Omicron: Schools prepared if Covid forces online move next term

Schools across the UK say they are prepared to switch to online learning if they have to next term, as more children stay at home because of Covid. Some children are being asked to take laptops home with them before Christmas in preparation. More than 30 local authorities told the BBC that some classes had moved online at schools.

Read: BBC

17/12/2021: Covid absences for disadvantaged pupils raise catch-up concerns

School absence due to Covid-19 is much higher among disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs (SEND), a report reveals. The latest findings from Ofsted, which has published three separate investigations into how Covid-19 continues to impact on children and students’ learning and personal development and the approaches education providers are using to help them catch up, found low attendance remains a “stubborn concern”.

Read: Children and Young People Now

10/12/2021: Student stalked at university calls for change

A woman who was stalked and threatened with kidnap by a fellow student has told the BBC her university’s failure to act swiftly left her terrified. Katie, which is not her real name, now wants universities to overhaul policies on how to deal with sexual misconduct. Sahil Bhavnani admitted stalking, and was given a four-month suspended sentence this week.

Read: BBC

08/12/2021: Too many children left at risk too long – Ofsted

Too many vulnerable children are being left at risk of harm for far too long in many areas, Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman has warned. Struggling child protection services in England had lost “the line of sight” to children in risky situations during the pandemic, she said. Ofsted’s annual report found nearly half of council children’s services require improvement, or are inadequate.

Read: BBC

08/12/2021: Pupils pressured regularly for nude photos, Estyn report finds

Pupils are pressured regularly to send nude photos and girls harassed over the length of their skirts, a school inspection report has found. About half of secondary pupils said they had experienced sexual harassment from fellow students. Estyn’s study found many pupils would not tell their teachers, as incidents had become “normalised” and teachers often dismissed them as “trivial”.

Read: BBC

06/12/2021: Hundreds of calls made to UK helpline about sexual abuse in schools

More than 850 calls, many alleging sexual abuse and harassment in schools, have been made to a national helpline set up after the Everyone’s Invited website revealed widespread sexism, misogyny and abuse in education. A total of 150 were so serious that they have been referred to police and other agencies for further investigation, according to the NSPCC children’s charity, which runs the helpline.

Read: Guardian

03/12/2021: ‘Severe’ early years workforce shortage sparks childcare crisis, EYA data shows

“Severe and growing” staffing shortages in the early years sector is leaving families facing repeated disruptions to childcare services, new research shows. A survey of 1,395 early years providers, carried out by the Early Years Alliance (EYA) reveals that more than eight in 10 settings are currently finding it difficult to recruit suitable staff while 62 per cent of settings had employed staff who had left the early years sector completely over the previous six months.

Read: Children and Young People Now

02/12/2021: School Covid absence up 60% in England in two weeks

The number of pupils absent from school in England because of Covid rose by about 60% in the two weeks to Thursday last week, official figure show. Some 208,000 state-school pupils (2.6%) were absent with confirmed or suspected cases, on Thursday, 25 November. The sharp increase has drawn an angry response from teaching unions, who want more support in fighting infections.

Read: BBC

02/12/2021: Crime ‘hotspot’ schools to get county line gang support

The Department for Education has announced that schools in crime “hotspots” across the country at risk of violence and involvement in county lines gangs will be offered targeted support to boost pupils’ attendance and prevent exclusions.

Read: Times Education Supplement

29/11/2021: Trauma: NI teachers taught to spot children’s fears

An educational training programme to help raise awareness of the effect of trauma on children has been launched in Northern Ireland. The training will give 60,000 education staff the opportunity to improve their understanding of trauma. Education Minister Michelle McIlveen said she was confident the “thought provoking” training would help children achieve their full potential.

Read: BBC

Drugs

11/01/2022: Fighting the darknet drug dealers who keep coming back

Claire Campbell’s 16-year-old son, Luke, died after taking ecstasy bought by friends on the darknet – a part of the internet that can only be accessed with special software. One of the biggest illegal marketplaces on there, Torrez, went offline last month after two years of selling Class A drugs, counterfeit cash and hacking tools. But one darknet drug dealer has told the BBC that law enforcement face an “impossible task” trying to close down such sites.

Read: BBC

05/01/2022: Pilot scheme bids to scrap criminal sentences for young people caught with cannabis

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is looking to trial the scrapping of criminal sentences for young people caught in possession of cannabis to divert them away from the criminal justice system. The trial is being developed for three out of London’s 32 boroughs and would only apply to young people aged between 18 to 24 caught in possession of a small amount of cannabis.

Read: Children and Young People Now

23/12/2021: A Generational Shift In The Demand For Drugs?

Drugs prevention or demand reduction are typically the most difficult to attain objectives in any drug strategy and many commentators argue that it is not possible for government to control their citizens’ demand for drugs – particularly within a global economy with drugs easily available for purchase in a wide variety of ways. Nonetheless, most governments seem compelled to try and much of the media coverage leading up to the publication of the strategy was about how the government intended to reduce demand for “hard” drugs among middle class users by rescinding passports for those found in possession of Class A substances.

Read: Russell Webster

09/12/2021: County lines: ‘this parent-blaming response does nothing to protect exploited children’

One minute, they’re spinning between the normal routines of family life: work, mealtimes, homework, lifts to clubs and sports events, days out. The next, they’re catching first glimpses of red flags that quickly mushroom – suddenly the parents’ full-time function is finding and questioning strange items, behaviours and actions.

Read: Community Care

09/12/2021: Concern over increase in county lines grooming during pandemic

Almost half of parents and carers say the risk of children being exploited by drug gangs in their local area has increased during the pandemic, according to The Children’s Society. Some 46 per cent of parents, foster parents and legal guardians surveyed by the charity said they think the risk of children being criminally exploited has increased in their locality since March last year when Covid-19 restrictions were first introduced.

Read: Children and Young People Now

06/12/2021: County lines: Government pledges to dismantle 2,000 gangs in drug policy overhaul

The government is pledging to dismantle 2,000 county lines gangs as part of a drugs policy overhaul. The £300m commitment is one proposal in the new 10-year drug strategy for England and Wales. Policing minister Kit Malthouse said the total funding would be £900m over three years, including major investments in treatment.

Read: BBC

06/12/2021: Boris Johnson’s new 10-year drugs plan promises to close down 2,000 ‘county lines’ supplies

As part of a 10-year plan for tackling drugs crime and taking on the “kingpins” behind supplies, the PM is warning criminals they will have “nowhere to hide”. And he is also pledging the largest-ever increase in investment in treatment and recovery for addicts.

Read: Sky

02/12/2021: Crime ‘hotspot’ schools to get county line gang support

The Department for Education has announced that schools in crime “hotspots” across the country at risk of violence and involvement in county lines gangs will be offered targeted support to boost pupils’ attendance and prevent exclusions.

Read: Times Education Supplement

04/11/2021: Overlooked – The Families Of People Who Drink, Use Drugs And Gamble

On Tuesday (2 November 2021) Adfam published new research entitled “Overlooked” about the 5.5 million people who are the families and friends of people who drink, use drugs and gamble, basically about one in ten of us. The research is based on a public survey of 2061 adults undertaken by YouGov. Adfam asks how a problem that affects millions of people, and for so long, remains so hidden. The report also contains recommendations to improve the current situation. Below I share the key findings from the report.

Read: Russell Webster

30/10/2021: Student ‘still feels vulnerable on nights out’ five years after alleged spiking

A former art student who had to use a walking stick and lost the use of her hand for weeks after she believes she was spiked has said she still feels vulnerable going out, five years after the alleged incident. Polly Sutherland, who was studying at Lancaster University, was 19 when her friends noticed she was behaving uncharacteristically during a night out at the university’s student union club, the Sugarhouse, in December 2016.

Read: Guardian

27/10/2021: New Resources: Health And Social Responses To Different Drugs

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction is in the process of publishing a large series of “miniguides” to support practitioners and policymakers in tackling the negative consequences of drug use. The guides are organised in different categories.

Read: Russell Webster

24/09/2021: Freshers Week: Organised criminals targeting universities

New students are being targeted by organised crime gangs who want to provide drugs to parties, a senior police officer has said. This week is freshers week at many universities, with thousands of North East students embracing socialising. With Covid hitting last year’s events, students face an “increased risk” from taking illegal substances, the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) said.

Read: BBC

20/08/2021: Increased Focus On Prevention And Early Intervention

In part 2 of her Review of Drugs, Dame Carol Black says we need increased focus on primary prevention and early intervention.

Read: Russell Webster

18/08/2021: Probation’s Work With Drug Users Is “Disappointing”

Probation services are responding poorly to drugs misuse and addiction cases, according to a new report published today jointly by HM Inspectorate of Probation and Care Quality Commission. The report highlights one key fact to demonstrate how the probation’s service work with people who use drugs has deteriorated over the last decade.

Read: Russell Webster

09/08/2021: Longfield to lead independent commission on gangs and criminal exploitation

Former children’s commissioner for England Anne Longfield will examine the scale of child criminal exploitation and come up with ways to cut the number of children used by gangs as part of an independent commission due to launch next month.

Read: Children and Young People Now

Domestic Abuse

26/11/2021: Domestic Abuse Perpetrators Need More Than A Criminal Justice Response

The Home Office is currently working on its Domestic Abuse Strategy, which is going to be released in the new year. We are pleased that the Home Office has announced that there will be a perpetrator pillar to the Domestic Abuse Strategy. We have previously set out our specific asks for the strategy in our report: “Building a robust response to perpetrators: recommendations for the new Domestic Abuse Strategy”.

Read: Russell Webster

28/09/2021: Cambridgeshire children to receive book on domestic violence

A book about domestic abuse is being sent to every primary school in Cambridgeshire in the hope of raising awareness of the issue. The Hideaway, by Cambridge writer and illustrator Pam Smy, tells the story of a boy who runs away as he cannot bear to see his mum abused by her partner. County councillor Bryony Goodliffe said the book had a strong message.

Read: BBC

25/07/2021: ‘You’d walk out if your husband hit you – you can’t when it’s your child’

Most parents never have to worry about being attacked by a violent child, but if it happens, they face a dilemma. They can’t just walk out – and they may fear that seeking help will have repercussions for their child. Research suggests the problem is often hidden, and far more common than we imagine.

Read: BBC

21/07/2021: Plan to tackle violence against women and girls to launch

Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to announce the strategy today (21 July) which includes the creation of a police position dedicated to keeping women and girls safe, a new 24/7 rape and sexual assault helpline commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and tougher measures to prevent sexual harrassment in schools and higher education settings.

Read: Children and Young People Now

07/07/2021: Epidemic of violence against women under way in England and Wales

Women and girls are being subjected to an epidemic of violence that requires a “radical and bold” shift in how authorities in England and Wales tackle crimes that disproportionately affect female victims, a police watchdog has warned.

Read: Guardian

07/07/2021: Crime Epidemic Against Women And Girls

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) have today published an interim report of an inspection into how effectively the police engage with women and girls. The report says the police have made vast improvements over the last decade in how they respond to these crimes – but while this progress should continue, fundamental system-wide change is needed, and the police cannot achieve this alone.

Read: Russell Webster

23/05/2021: Experiencing domestic abuse through virtual reality

A film maker has created a virtual reality (VR) film to raise awareness of the impact of domestic abuse on victims. Lucy Baxter, the film’s creator, said she wanted to provide an immersive experience to train those who come into contact with abuse victims. Ms Baxter, director of domestic abuse charity Mental Abuse Matters and a film practice lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast is using Mental Abuse Matters as her PhD subject.

Read: BBC

12/05/2021: What new domestic abuse legislation means for social workers

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021, which became law last month, marks a significant step forwards and should transform our response to domestic abuse, which affected 2.3m people in England and Wales in 2019-20. All social workers should be familiar with the new legislation, but certain aspects of the act are particularly relevant to social care practitioners. Here is an outline of what they are and what they mean.

Read: Community Care

04/05/2021: Threats to Share Intimate Images Now Made Illegal with New Law

Last week the Domestic Abuse Bill received Royal Assent in Parliament marking a huge step forward in protection for victims of domestic abuse and violence . One of the new provisions makes threats to share intimate images a crime with perpetrators facing prison if found guilty. There is also more definition around domestic abuse with non-fatal strangulation being made illegal and the so-called ‘rough sex’ defence outlawed. Until now, the sharing of intimate images without consent was illegal, the threat to share was not included yet carried serious impact for victims.

Read: South West Grid for Learning

29/04/2021: Domestic Abuse Bill: Key measures for children and sector reaction

The Domestic Abuse Bill is set to become law, recognising children as victims of domestic abuse for the first time. The Bill, which will apply in England and Wales, today (29 April) received Royal Assent, meaning it will become law, after Lords backed down in a row over the monitoring of stalkers and abusers.

Read: Children and Young People Now

01/03/2021: Why this teen set up a prize-winning fake cosmetics shop

Disturbed by reports of rising domestic violence under coronavirus lockdown, a Polish high school student decided to launch a fake online shop to offer a lifeline to victims trapped in their homes. Her idea won a European Union prize that came with €10,000 (£8,700; $12,120). “Firstly, I heard about the increase in domestic violence cases during the pandemic. Then I heard about a French initiative, where people go to the pharmacy and ask for a special mask that lets the pharmacist know they are a victim of domestic violence,” Krystyna Paszko explained.

Read: BBC

01/03/2021: New measures added to Domestic Abuse legislation

Work with offenders on three important new amendments. Women’s campaigners have fought a long and hard campaign to ensure that the Domestic Abuse Bill has the powers it needs to protect victims of domestic abuse. The Bill was first promised by the Government almost four years ago, it started its progress through parliament only to fall because of the pressures of Brexit and the 2019 general election. The Bill was reintroduced to parliament last March and will start its report stage next week. However, it does appear that the co-ordinated campaign has been successful in many ways.

Read: Work with Offenders

01/03/2021: Domestic Abuse Bill Soon to Outlaw Threats to Share Intimate Images

The Domestic Abuse Bill has taken some big steps forward in protecting victims of intimate image abuse. Threats to share intimate images will soon be criminalised, with perpetrators facing up to two years in jail if they threaten to post private content. This has been added along with the concept that victims will no longer need to live in the same address as the perpetrator for the law to apply.

Read: South West Grid for Learning

17/02/2021: ‘He’s beaten her black and blue for years’: a month in the life of a women’s refuge manager

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on women in abusive relationships, trapping them in their homes with violent, manipulative or controlling men. The UN described the global increase in domestic abuse as a “shadow pandemic”, and in the first seven weeks of lockdown there was a domestic abuse call to UK police every 30 seconds. The Centre for Women’s Justice noted the number of domestic-abuse-related deaths trebled in the UK in 2020, compared with 2019.

Read: Guardian

Diversity

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: MoJ Has Under Invested In Its Female Offender Strategy

The Ministry of Justice has made limited progress on its Female Offender Strategy to improve outcomes for women in the criminal justice system because it has not prioritised investment in this work, according to a report published yesterday by the National Audit Office (NAO). As readers know, women in the justice system have distinct needs and worse outcomes than men.

Read: Russell Webster

07/01/2022: Devolved governments raise funding concerns about UK policy compelling councils to take asylum-seeking children

The Scottish and Welsh governments are seeking an urgent meeting with the Home Office to raise concerns over its now-mandatory requirement for UK councils to take unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Since 14 December, the Home Office has compelled all British local authorities to sign up to its previously voluntary national transfer scheme (NTS), which enables councils for whom unaccompanied children make up more than 0.07% of their child population to refer children to other authorities.

Read: Community Care

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

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

11/11/2021: How PE teachers can help to tackle racism in sport

It’s time to address the elephant in the room: racism in sport is a problem. It’s always been an issue, but the scandal at Yorkshire County Cricket Club has brought the discussion back to the fore. PE teachers and schools have a critical role to play here: and all should be teaching racial justice and equity as part of their core purpose.

Read: Times Education Supplement

10/11/2021: School system blighted by failures to support autistic pupils, charity warns

A charity has found widespread failures across education to support autistic pupils and their families, who are facing long delays, inadequate help and stressful legal battles. A survey of parents and carers by the National Autistic Society (NAS) found a quarter face a three year wait for help while 57 per cent do not receive assistance within a year.

Read: Children and Young People Now

05/11/2021: Girls In Custody

A recent (October 2021) report by the Centre For Mental Health looks at the needs of girls in the Children and Young People Secure Estate (CYPSE). Out of Sight, authored by Lorraine Khan, Androulla Harris and Curtis Sinclair, was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement in partnership with the Youth Custody Service. The review is informed by interviews with girls who had been in the CYPSE, conducted by Leaders Unlocked.

Read: Russell Webster

05/11/2021: Girls ‘face more mental health issues in secondary’

Girls experience increasing mental health issues at secondary school compared with boys, according to new research. John Jerrim, an education professor at UCL’s Institute of Education, has drawn on pre-pandemic data to explore the factors influencing pupils’ mental health.

Read: Times Education Supplement

01/11/2021: What do we know about girls and gangs?

HM Inspectorate of Probation has published the latest report in its “Academic Insights” series which is aimed at everyone within the probation sector with an interest in the evidence base. The Inspectorate commissions leading academics to present their views on specific topics in order to inform debate and help everyone’s understanding of what helps and what hinders probation and youth offending services.

Read: Work with Offenders

30/10/2021: Student ‘still feels vulnerable on nights out’ five years after alleged spiking

A former art student who had to use a walking stick and lost the use of her hand for weeks after she believes she was spiked has said she still feels vulnerable going out, five years after the alleged incident. Polly Sutherland, who was studying at Lancaster University, was 19 when her friends noticed she was behaving uncharacteristically during a night out at the university’s student union club, the Sugarhouse, in December 2016.

Read: Guardian

29/10/2021: Research reveals rapes and assaults admitted to by male UK students

The first survey examining sexual violence by male UK students has shone a light on misogyny at universities, with scores admitting to rape, sexual assault and other forcible acts. Of the 554 male students surveyed, 63 reported that they had committed 251 sexual assaults, rapes and other coercive and unwanted incidents in the past two years, according to researchers at the University of Kent.

Read: Guardian

21/10/2021: Youth offending services failing black and mixed heritage boys, inspectors warn

Inspectors have warned of “significant deficits” in support offered by youth offending teams, and their partners across social care and education, to black and mixed heritage boys. A report by the inspectorate of probation found that many of these boys face multiple disadvantages in their life, at school and with their mental health.

Read: Children and Young People Now

21/10/2021: ‘School-to-prison pipeline’: youth justice services failing black boys

The government has been urged to act over the “school to prison pipeline” after a report found black and mixed heritage boys in England received poor support from youth offending services. HM Inspectorate of Probation found “significant deficits” in the quality of work conducted by youth offending services and partner agencies when dealing with black and mixed heritage boys.

Read: Guardian

Care Experienced

21/01/2022: One in three care leavers feel they left care prematurely, finds Ofsted

One in three care leavers felt they left care too early, an Ofsted survey has found. Respondents reported feeling rushed into leaving care, were told they would be leaving with little warning and said they felt like they had no choice. The findings comes despite statutory guidance on care leaver provision – which councils must follow other than in exceptional circumstances – saying that no young person should feel they must leave care before they are ready.

Read: Community Care

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: Four in five children in care ‘move with belongings in binbags’

Most children in care are forced to take their belongings in bin bags when they move home, according to the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS). A study by the children’s rights charity has found that four in five looked after children have their possessions moved in bin bags when they change homes.

Read: Children and Young People Now

14/01/2022: NYAS launches fund to support young care leavers

Young people aged between 16 and 25 who have left local authority care can now access a grant of up to £500. The Knapman Fund was launched by National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) and is open to any young people who have previously received support from NYAS.

Read: Children and Young People Now

12/01/2022: Early help schemes will not stop rise in teenagers entering care, MPs told

An increase in early help services, including the roll-out of family hubs, will not prevent a rise in the number of older children entering care, the education select committee has been told.

Read: Children and Young People Now

07/01/2022: Devolved governments raise funding concerns about UK policy compelling councils to take asylum-seeking children

The Scottish and Welsh governments are seeking an urgent meeting with the Home Office to raise concerns over its now-mandatory requirement for UK councils to take unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Since 14 December, the Home Office has compelled all British local authorities to sign up to its previously voluntary national transfer scheme (NTS), which enables councils for whom unaccompanied children make up more than 0.07% of their child population to refer children to other authorities.

Read: Community Care

06/01/2022: Child poverty rises linked to 10,000 more children going into care over five years, finds research

Rises in child poverty fuelled by benefit cuts was associated with more than 10,000 more children being taken into care between 2015 and 2020, a new study has estimated. The research, which is currently being peer-reviewed, suggests 10,356 more children living in English local authority areas became looked after than would have been the case had poverty levels remained at 2015 levels.

Read: Community Care

04/01/2022: Anne Longfield: Reform ‘unfit’ children’s social care system to support vulnerable teens

The former children’s commissioner for England has published a damning report in her new role as chair of the Commission on Young Lives which states that the current system “was largely designed for small children” and is “unfit for purpose”.

Read: Children and Young People Now

29/12/2021: Children’s care system putting vulnerable teens at risk – report

Teenagers taken into care in England to safeguard them from exploitation are being put at more serious risk in the care system itself, a report warns. The Commission on Young Lives report says children are moved from their local areas to live in unregulated accommodation targeted by criminals. It says the system is “unfit for purpose” and is letting down the rising number of over 16s in care. Ministers say they are “urgently reforming the system”.

Read: BBC

29/12/2021: Children’s social care system ‘unfit for purpose’ in England

The children’s social care system in England is unfit for purpose and often puts vulnerable teenagers in greater danger, according to the former children’s commissioner. Anne Longfield now runs the Commission on Young Lives, which warns in a report that the children’s social care system is “handing over” some vulnerable teenagers to criminals and abusers by moving them “out of area” to live in dangerous unregulated accommodation that is sometimes targeted by criminals.

Read: Guardian

17/12/2021: Less than half of welfare referrals to secure children’s homes result in placements, research warns

Less than half of young people referred to secure children’s homes amid concerns for their welfare last year were offered a placement, new research shows. A briefing note by the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) warns that the proportion of children referred under section 25 of the Children Act 1989 who were offered a placement dropped by almost eight per cent between 2018 and 2020.

Read: Children and Young People Now

16/12/2021: Campaigners criticise ‘vague and dehumanising’ plans for unregulated care

Children’s campaigners have criticised the government’s decision not to ban unregulated care settings for 16- and 17-year-olds. The use of the settings, which provide housing with limited or no support for children in care has been banned for under-16s. Campaigners had called for this ban to be extended for all under-18s.

Read: Children and Young People Now

16/12/2021: Ofsted to inspect and register unregulated accommodation providers for 16–17-year-olds in care

Providers and campaigners express concern over national standards and inspection regime, which will come into force in 2023. The Department for Education will introduce national standards for currently unregulated accommodation for 16- and 17- year-olds in 2023, it announced this week.

Read: Community Care

15/12/2021: National standards for unregulated supported accommodation to come into force in 2023

Unregulated supported accommodation for 16- and 17-year-olds will be overseen by Ofsted under a new set of mandatory national standards from 2023, the outcome of a government consultation reveals.

Read: Children and Young People Now

13/12/2021: Providers failing to register placements to deprive children of liberty

Providers are failing to register unregistered placements for which they have been authorised to deprive children of liberty, despite being required to do so urgently. Ofsted has been notified of 33 unregistered placements authorised by the courts under the inherent jurisdiction since December 2020, for children aged 15 on average. The regulator disclosed the figures in its annual report, published last week.

Read: Community Care

Latest

24/01/2022: Sex trafficking: Children groomed in Romania sent to UK

The BBC has found that children as young as 10 are being groomed in Romania, to be trafficked to the UK. Once they arrive as teenagers, they’re kept captive and pimped out for sex. With police struggling to stop this brutal trade, BBC correspondent Jean Mackenzie has spent two years travelling between Romania and the UK. She uncovers why this industry is thriving, as she meets the girls being bought and sold.

Read: BBC

22/01/2022: NCA says end-to-end encryption poses challenge for law enforcers on child abuse

The National Crime Agency has said that end-to-end encryption risks “turning the lights out” for law enforcers trying to prevent child abuse, after the UK data watchdog said failure to introduce strongly encrypted messaging poses a risk to children. The NCA said referrals from social media companies led to 500 arrests and safeguarded 650 children every month in the UK, but that will become “much more challenging” to achieve under widespread use of end-to-end encryption.

Read: Guardian

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

21/01/2022: London violence: Children as young as 10 fear being stabbed

London set an unwelcome new record of 30 teenage stabbing homicides in 2021, while a third of all of England’s stabbing deaths are reported by the Metropolitan Police. The picture in the capital is bleak: fearful for their safety, more children are carrying knives, community workers say. Some pupils are so afraid of being attacked they are being shuttled to school by taxi.

Read: BBC

21/01/2022: One in three care leavers feel they left care prematurely, finds Ofsted

One in three care leavers felt they left care too early, an Ofsted survey has found. Respondents reported feeling rushed into leaving care, were told they would be leaving with little warning and said they felt like they had no choice. The findings comes despite statutory guidance on care leaver provision – which councils must follow other than in exceptional circumstances – saying that no young person should feel they must leave care before they are ready.

Read: Community Care

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

20/01/2022: Trauma-informed care ‘failing to meet expectations’

Methods used by social workers that focus on supporting children in care who have experienced trauma are failing to meet expectations, a new study suggests. Trauma-informed care (TIC), which considers the abuse and neglect experienced by looked-after children, is widely used in social work and is expected to lead to effective support.

Read: Children and Young People Now

20/01/2022: Expanding Out-Of-Court Disposals And Diversion Schemes

Crest Advisory has just (19 January 2022) published a major new report on the front-end of the criminal justice system, specifically Out-of-Court Disposals (OOCDs) and diversion schemes. The research included analysis of the latest evidence and trends across England and Wales, an in-depth study in the Thames Valley Police force area and a nationally representative survey.

Read: Russell Webster

20/01/2022: MoJ Has Under Invested In Its Female Offender Strategy

The Ministry of Justice has made limited progress on its Female Offender Strategy to improve outcomes for women in the criminal justice system because it has not prioritised investment in this work, according to a report published yesterday by the National Audit Office (NAO). As readers know, women in the justice system have distinct needs and worse outcomes than men.

Read: Russell Webster

19/01/2022: Covid in schools: Inquiry launched to find 100,000 pupils absent in England

An inquiry is being launched into children who are not attending school in the wake of national lockdowns, the children’s commissioner for England has said. Dame Rachel de Souza said between 80,000 and 100,000 children were not on any school rolls at all. “Literally, I am going to go out and find them,” she told BBC News.

Read: BBC

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: Four in five children in care ‘move with belongings in binbags’

Most children in care are forced to take their belongings in bin bags when they move home, according to the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS). A study by the children’s rights charity has found that four in five looked after children have their possessions moved in bin bags when they change homes.

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

19/01/2022: Child sexual abuse prosecutions and convictions roughly halve in 4 years

Our latest research finds child sexual abuse (CSA) prosecutions and convictions are falling and young people are facing increasingly long and distressing court delays. Distress includes sleeping and eating problems, depression, panic attacks and self-harm due to a lack of support in the criminal justice system.

Read: NSPCC

18/01/2022: Universities pledge to stop silencing sex-assault victims

Victims of sexual harassment at some UK universities will no longer be silenced by “gagging” clauses, as part of a pledge backed by the government. A 2020 BBC News investigation found nearly a third of universities had used non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to silence student complaints about sexual misconduct, bullying and harassment. Now, the government is asking the more than 150 universities in the UK not to use NDAs for such “shabby practice”.

Read: BBC

FILTER: News

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