27/08/2019: ‘Alarm bells’ over private equity foster care firms, councils warn (BBC)
Private equity firms buying up small agencies have “set off alarm bells” within England’s foster care system, the Local Government Association says. Three groups account for 45% of funds spent on independent fostering by English councils, according to new analysis. The LGA said councils worry about what could happen if one group failed.
23/08/2019: Brexit uncertainty puts children’s social care services at risk, MPs warn (Children and Young People Now)
The postponement of a three-year funding settlement for local authorities due to uncertainty over Brexit could result in councils unnecessarily cutting back on services supporting vulnerable children and families, MPs have warned. An inquiry by the housing, communities and local government select committee into local government finance and the 2019 Spending Review concluded that “current uncertainty for local government and the lack of funding for services must be addressed as a matter of urgency”.
21/08/2019: Shipping containers used to house homeless children (BBC)
More than 210,000 children are estimated to be homeless, with some being temporarily housed in converted shipping containers, a report says. The Children’s Commissioner for England says that as well as the 124,000 children officially homeless, a further 90,000 are estimated to be “sofa-surfing”. Her report tells of families housed in repurposed shipping containers and office blocks, and whole families living in tiny spaces.
21/08/2019: Being homeless at 14 was terrifying, says Bridgend teenager (BBC)
When Daniel Mayne found himself homeless at the age of 14 he admits he was “terrified”. Home had become a place where he no longer felt safe after his relationship with his parents broke down. But now, aged 18, he is looking for a job after finishing college and has found more security after a charity helped him find somewhere to live.
21/08/2019: Curfews for young people planned in bid to tackle knife crime (Children and Young People Now)
Curfews could be imposed on young people to steer them away from knife crime, under government proposals. The Home Office’s planned knife crime prevention orders (KCPOs) can be imposed on any person aged 12 or over if police believe they are carrying a knife and also on those who have a previous conviction for a knife crime. The government has stressed that the orders, through May this year’s Offensive Weapons Act, are aimed at preventing knife crime and are not a punishment.
20/08/2019: More schoolchildren ‘rejecting cigarettes’ (BBC)
Secondary-school pupils in England appear to be rejecting cigarettes in greater numbers than ever before. The most recent survey in a series that began in the 1980s indicates just 16% of the pupils have ever smoked tobacco, down from 19% in 2016 and 49% in 1996. However, a quarter of the 13,000 pupils surveyed, from 193 schools across England, have tried drugs.
20/08/2019: Early help mental health projects receive funding boost (Children and Young People Now)
Children and young people across England are set to benefit from a £3.3m government investment into 23 projects that focus on early intervention mental health support. The projects – which include community-based counselling services, mentoring and arts programmes – aim to offer children and young people up to 25 the opportunity to access mental health support.
19/08/2019: How I stopped my teenager being recruited online (BBC)
A mother expressed her concern about extremist content poisoning the minds of boys as they use the internet, in a post that went viral. She thinks there are warning signs parents should heed. In an age where anyone can access just about anything on the internet, white boys in the US seem particularly at risk from dangerous radicalisation online. Many mass shooting suspects in the US have three things in common: They are young, white and male.