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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

21/09/2021: Children face ‘agonising’ waits for mental health care

Children struggling with mental health problems during the pandemic are facing “agonisingly” long waits for treatment, a BBC investigation has found. Data from half of England’s specialist child mental health services found one in five youngsters seen since Covid hit waited longer than 12 weeks for care. The numbers still waiting also appear to be rising sharply.

Read: BBC

21/09/2021: Twitch hate raids: Minority streamers have ‘a target on their back’

“I’ve been told to kill myself, called the T-slur for trans people, the F-slur for gay people and misgendered numerous times.” You might have seen hashtags like #DoBetterTwitch or #ADayOffTwitch trending over the past few weeks and months. It’s because of the flood of abuse that streamers, mainly from minority or marginalised communities are receiving on games streaming platform Twitch.

Read: BBC

21/09/2021: Young people ‘at risk of repeat homelessness’ if £20 Universal Credit uplift cut, charities warn

Cutting the £20-a-week Universal Credit increase will put young people at risk of repeat homelessness, more than 40 charities have warned. They have written a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him not to remove the Universal Credit (UC) uplift at the end of the month. Led by Centrepoint and End Youth Homelessness, the letter says the increase has been a “lifeline” after it was temporarily introduced to help claimants during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read: Sky

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.

20/09/2021: Early baby therapy could reduce autism diagnoses

Training parents how to respond to babies showing early signs of autism could reduce by two-thirds the number of three-year-olds meeting the criteria for diagnosis, a small study suggests. Improvement on this scale has never been shown before, the UK and Australian researchers say. The first two years are critical for brain development – but most autism diagnoses are made at the age of three.

Read: BBC

20/09/2021: Autism therapy aimed at infants may reduce likelihood of later diagnosis

Doctors have shown for the first time that a new therapy aimed at infants can reduce autistic behaviour and the likelihood the children will go on to be diagnosed with autism before they reach school age. Infants who received the therapy after displaying early signs of potential autism, such as avoiding eye contact and not responding to their name, were one-third as likely to have autism diagnosed at the age of three, compared with those who had standard care, the researchers found.

Read: Guardian

19/09/2021: Child poverty now costs Britain £38bn a year, says new independent report

The findings, to be released in the next few days, will add to concerns over government plans to end the £20-a-week uplift for universal credit, as MPs of all parties voice concerns that a cut will hit low-income families with children particularly hard. The new research, by Professor Donald Hirsch of Loughborough University, is the third study of its kind he has conducted over the past 15 years.

Read: Guardian

18/09/2021: ‘It takes too long to get support’: alarm over rising primary school exclusions

Sam Bates was excluded from school for the first time when he was five years old. After moving into year 1, he struggled to sit still, became frustrated with staff and pushed chairs over. He was sent home for one day and was then allowed back for only two hours a day, separated from his classmates, with a teaching assistant. From there, things unravelled.

Read: Guardian

18/09/2021: ‘I felt my body wasn’t good enough’: teenage troubles with Instagram

Internal research by Facebook that found its Instagram app worsens body image issues for young users has been leaked, revealing how aware the social media giant is of its product’s effect on mental health. According to leaked documents, research by the company over the last two years has consistently found that the photo-sharing platform is harmful to a large proportion of its users – particularly teenage girls.

Read: Guardian

17/09/2021: Will Quince replaces Vicky Ford as children and families minister

Former minister for welfare delivery Will Quince has replaced Vicky Ford as children and families minister as part of the Prime Minister’s cabinet reshuffle. During his time at the Department for Work and Pensions, Quince, MP for Colchester, previously took responsibility for policies on the management and delivery of benefits including housing benefits and universal credit, benefits support for disadvantaged groups and poverty.

16/09/2021: Nadhim Zahawi announced as education secretary

Nadhim Zahawi has been appointed the new education secretary for England – replacing Gavin Williamson in the Cabinet reshuffle. Mr Zahawi leaves his previous post as the minister responsible for the Covid vaccines roll-out.

Read: BBC

16/09/2021: Charities issue stark warning over ‘decimation of youth services’

The National Youth Agency and YMCA have warned that a failure to invest immediately in youth services will “decimate” the sector and leave “a generation of young people without opportunities to thrive”.

15/09/2021: Disadvantaged children least confident being active, research warns

Children from low-income backgrounds are far less confident in being active and taking part in sport, according to the Youth Sport Trust. The Trust found that only around half of 11- to 16-year-olds from low income groups rated themselves as confident taking part in physical activity.

15/09/2021: Online child abuse crimes have surged by three-quarters and more must be done to protect children online

While online abuse crimes have surged by 78% over the last four years, new Government plans to regulate social media through the Online Safety Bill fall significantly short of tackling this issue.

Read: NSPCC

21/09/2021: Twitch hate raids: Minority streamers have ‘a target on their back’

“I’ve been told to kill myself, called the T-slur for trans people, the F-slur for gay people and misgendered numerous times.” You might have seen hashtags like #DoBetterTwitch or #ADayOffTwitch trending over the past few weeks and months. It’s because of the flood of abuse that streamers, mainly from minority or marginalised communities are receiving on games streaming platform Twitch.

Read: BBC

20/09/2021: Early baby therapy could reduce autism diagnoses

Training parents how to respond to babies showing early signs of autism could reduce by two-thirds the number of three-year-olds meeting the criteria for diagnosis, a small study suggests. Improvement on this scale has never been shown before, the UK and Australian researchers say. The first two years are critical for brain development – but most autism diagnoses are made at the age of three.

Read: BBC

20/09/2021: Autism therapy aimed at infants may reduce likelihood of later diagnosis

Doctors have shown for the first time that a new therapy aimed at infants can reduce autistic behaviour and the likelihood the children will go on to be diagnosed with autism before they reach school age. Infants who received the therapy after displaying early signs of potential autism, such as avoiding eye contact and not responding to their name, were one-third as likely to have autism diagnosed at the age of three, compared with those who had standard care, the researchers found.

Read: Guardian

10/09/2021: Why you need to be teaching sexual citizenship

Teaching pupils to engage positively with their sexual identity is key to tackling sexual harassment, says one expert. “It’s really hard to talk to young people about what makes sex safe if you’re not going to talk about pleasure,” says sex and relationships adviser Jonny Hunt.

Read: Sky

08/09/2021: Special-needs support beyond crisis, heads say

Support for pupils who have special needs is “beyond crisis” in England and “sucking money from budgets” for all children, a report says. Nearly all schools (97%) responding to a survey by a head teachers’ union said they received insufficient funding to support pupils who had special needs. The National Association of Head Teachers says funding has to rise so all pupils can be supported to learn.

Read: BBC

06/09/2021: Ministers ‘must not weaken’ laws protecting SEND pupils

Ministers should not “weaken” laws protecting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), campaigners say. A campaign backed by politicians and charities is urging the government to include disabled people and their parents and carers at the heart of its review.

03/09/2021: UK Youth launches project to shape mental health support for young black people

A new project will see young people who have experienced poor mental health and racial injustice shape the way support is delivered. The Young Changemakers programme will see 16- to 25-year-olds “given the opportunity to change mental health support for the better and affect real change”, according to UK Youth, which is behind the initiative.

29/08/2021: Lack of psychologists hits pupils with special educational needs

Councils in England are struggling to assess the level of support children with special educational needs require because of a shortage of educational psychologists, with the start of the school year just days away.

Read: Guardian

22/08/2021: What happens to the children of women killed by men?

In the latest part of our series, we highlight the lack of official support in the UK for traumatised youngsters and those left to pick up the pieces. But, amid the grief, is there still hope for the future?

Read: Guardian

12/08/2021: New guidance on supporting transgender pupils in schools (Scotland)

New guidance on supporting transgender children in schools has been published by the Scottish government. Ministers said the guidance was designed to help schools and education authorities “make decisions effectively”. It also recognises the importance of “privacy and safe spaces” for girls and boys within schools.

Read: BBC

28/07/2021: Children’s social workers to receive standards on autism practice

Capability statement for practice with autistic children will add to existing standards for adults’ practitioners, and follows concerns raised by chief social workers about how professionals work with families. Social workers will receive new standards on working with autistic children and their families, as part of the government’s revised autism strategy, published last week.

22/07/2021: Too Many Women Sent To Prison For Short Sentences

A new (20 July 2021) briefing from the Prison Reform Trust: Why focus on reducing women’s imprisonment? reveals that most women are sent to prison for non-violent offences and serve sentences of 12 months or less. 72% of women who entered prison under sentence in 2020 have committed a non-violent offence. Furthermore, 70% of prison sentences given to women were for less than 12 months.

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.

21/07/2021: Government strategy promises improved support for autistic children

Earlier diagnosis as well as investment in children’s professional training are among measures being pledged by the government to improve support for children and young people with autism.

18/07/2021: Why was my tweet about football labelled abusive?

Online hate has been in the headlines again recently due to an avalanche of racist posts directed at three players who missed penalties in England’s defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final. Warning: This article contains language that some may find offensive

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

04/08/2021: Drug-Related Deaths Worst Ever

Following on from the dire news from Scotland last week that 1,339 people died of drug misuse last year, yesterday’s figures for England and Wales were equally depressing. The official data: Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales: 2020 registrations reported that 4,561 deaths related to drug poisoning were registered (equivalent to a rate of 79.5 deaths per million people); this is 3.8% higher than the number of deaths registered in 2019 (4,393 deaths; 76.7 deaths per million). This is the worst number since records began in 1993.

21/07/2021: Government Told To Invest In Drug Treatment

In part 2 of her Review of Drugs, Dame Carol Black argues for a significant increase in funding for drug treatment.

12/07/2021: Review urges ‘age-appropriate’ drug services for young people

The government should invest in “age-appropriate” drug services for young people amid a 40 per cent rise in drug use in 11- to 15-year-olds, a major report finds. The second part of a government-commissioned review of drugs, by Cambridge university professor Dame Carol Black, found that overall funding for drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services has fallen by 17 per cent between from 2014/15 and 2019/20.

09/07/2021: Drug Prevention, Treatment And Recovery “Not Fit For Purpose”

Part 2 of Dame Carol Black’s independent review of drugs concludes that the public provision we currently have for prevention, treatment and recovery is not fit for purpose.

08/07/2021: Boost social worker numbers to address ‘disappearance’ of drugs teams, ministers urged

The number of social workers in drugs services should be boosted as part of moves to reverse a “significant deterioration” in the quality and quantity of the workforce in recent years. That was a key message to ministers from a government-commissioned report into reforming drugs services published today.

01/07/2021: Predicting Risk In Young Drinkers

The drug, alcohol and mental health treatment charity Humankind has just published an interesting new secondary prevention alcohol toolkit aimed mainly at young adults. The toolkit is designed to provide a more sophisticated assessment tool than the current most common alcohol assessment tool – AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test). Humankind recognises the value of AUDIT but says that two people may score the same on the test but their journeys with alcohol may follow different paths.

11/06/2021: ‘Cannabis sweets’: NI schools issue warning to parents

Schools in NI have been asked to warn parents and staff about pupils eating cannabis oil disguised as sweets. The Department of Education (DE) said a young child had to be assessed in hospital after they “inadvertently consumed cannabis” when eating the sweets. The warning came in a letter to all school principals from DE. It said children could suffer hallucinations, nausea or vomiting if they ate the sweets.

Read: BBC

27/05/2021: County lines: 1,100 people arrested in UK crackdown

A crackdown on county lines drug dealing gangs resulted in the arrest of 1,100 people and the seizure of 292 weapons. Forces across the UK boosted activity against county lines gangs in the week from 17 to 23 May. In this week there were 33 guns and 219 knives among the weapons seized and 80 drug dealing phone lines identified. County line gangs are urban drug dealers who sell to customers in more rural areas via dedicated phone lines.

Read: BBC

17/05/2021: Britain’s Teenage Drug Runners (Video)

BBC Three explores how gang members are using teenage drug runners to sell large amounts of crack and heroin miles away from home. With astonishing access the film explores how gang members are using teenage drug runners to sell large amounts of crack and heroin miles away from home. Police, youth workers and the government are all trying to tackle this rising problem.

Read: BBC

17/05/2021: Drug Dealing On Campus

A drug dealer supplying fellow students on his university campus shares his story. He claims he is trying to quit, but pressure from his suppliers is making it dangerous to stop.

Read: BBC

06/05/2021: ‘His death is such a waste’: Mother of boy, 17, who collapsed and died in a car park from an ecstasy and cocaine overdose, warns teenagers to stay away from drugs

A heartbroken mother has warned teenagers to stay away from drugs after her 17-year-old son collapsed and died in a carpark from an overdose. Vicki Jacob’s son Joel was a student at Exeter College when he died after taking cocaine and ecstasy during a night out with friends. An inquest into his death heard he took the drugs before getting on a train from Exeter to Newton Abbot with three friends at 11pm on December 4, 2020.

Read: Daily Mail

15/04/2021: The Impact Of Parental Conflict And Substance Misuse On Children

Literature review for DWP examines links between parental conflict and substance misuse and the impact on children’s outcomes.

20/09/2021: Early baby therapy could reduce autism diagnoses

Training parents how to respond to babies showing early signs of autism could reduce by two-thirds the number of three-year-olds meeting the criteria for diagnosis, a small study suggests. Improvement on this scale has never been shown before, the UK and Australian researchers say. The first two years are critical for brain development – but most autism diagnoses are made at the age of three.

Read: BBC

18/09/2021: ‘It takes too long to get support’: alarm over rising primary school exclusions

Sam Bates was excluded from school for the first time when he was five years old. After moving into year 1, he struggled to sit still, became frustrated with staff and pushed chairs over. He was sent home for one day and was then allowed back for only two hours a day, separated from his classmates, with a teaching assistant. From there, things unravelled.

Read: Guardian

16/09/2021: Nadhim Zahawi announced as education secretary

Nadhim Zahawi has been appointed the new education secretary for England – replacing Gavin Williamson in the Cabinet reshuffle. Mr Zahawi leaves his previous post as the minister responsible for the Covid vaccines roll-out.

Read: BBC

14/09/2021: Legal action threat over sending clinically vulnerable children back to school

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson could face legal action if clinically vulnerable children are forced back to school, campaigners have warned. Lawyers working on behalf of The Good Law Project (GLP) have written to the Education Secretary calling for guidance around children’s return to school to be amended to protect disabled children, those classed as clinically vulnerable and those living with a clinically vulnerable person.

10/09/2021: Why you need to be teaching sexual citizenship

Teaching pupils to engage positively with their sexual identity is key to tackling sexual harassment, says one expert. “It’s really hard to talk to young people about what makes sex safe if you’re not going to talk about pleasure,” says sex and relationships adviser Jonny Hunt.

Read: Sky

09/09/2021: Scouts rolls out Squirrels programme for pre-school children

Scouts has launched a UK-wide roll out of its ‘Squirrels’ programme for four- to five-year-olds, with a focus on communities most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiative launches in 200 areas across the UK and follows a pilot that began in 2019, which focused on supporting areas of deprivation and Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

08/09/2021: Special-needs support beyond crisis, heads say

Support for pupils who have special needs is “beyond crisis” in England and “sucking money from budgets” for all children, a report says. Nearly all schools (97%) responding to a survey by a head teachers’ union said they received insufficient funding to support pupils who had special needs. The National Association of Head Teachers says funding has to rise so all pupils can be supported to learn.

Read: BBC

06/09/2021: Ministers ‘must not weaken’ laws protecting SEND pupils

Ministers should not “weaken” laws protecting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), campaigners say. A campaign backed by politicians and charities is urging the government to include disabled people and their parents and carers at the heart of its review.

31/08/2021: One million children missing out on free school meals, research shows

More than one million children living in poverty across the UK are missing out on free school meals due to eligibility criteria, a report warns. The research from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Covid Realities shows that 36 per cent of all school-aged children living in poverty in the UK are not entitled to a free meal at school.

30/08/2021: Affordable uniforms law will miss new school year

A new law aimed at making school uniforms cheaper in England will not be in place in time for the start of this school year. Headteachers are waiting for the new statutory guidance on uniforms, which will make schools place affordability at the centre of their uniform policy. The government says schools should expect full details in the autumn.

Read: BBC

29/08/2021: Lack of psychologists hits pupils with special educational needs

Councils in England are struggling to assess the level of support children with special educational needs require because of a shortage of educational psychologists, with the start of the school year just days away.

Read: Guardian

24/08/2021: Introducing ‘My_GOSH_UK’ – A Resource for University Students

As the summer holidays whizz past us, on the helplines our focus is on the start of the autumn term. This summer we have been busy beavering away, creating our new online resource designed with university students in mind.

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

19/08/2021: Poorest children ‘locked out’ of early years education, Sutton Trust warns

The government’s policy around funded childcare for working parents has been criticised over leaving the poorest children in England effectively “locked out” of early education opportunities. The policy for children aged three and four is denying childcare and early education to families “simply because their parents don’t earn enough”, warns the Sutton Trust in its latest report.

19/08/2021: Free childcare policy ‘damages life chances’ of poor children in England

Children from disadvantaged families in England are missing out on early years education because their parents are not in work or do not earn enough, contributing to a widening gap between the poorest children and their peers before they even start school, according to a new report.

Read: Guardian

13/09/2021: Children’s homes ‘struggling to recruit staff’

Children’s homes are struggling to recruit staff, with people reluctant to work in the sector and qualified staff being poached by other establishments, the Independent Children’s Homes Association (ICHA) has warned. A report based on feedback from the sector for the week ending 12 September found that all respondents reported issues recruiting staff.

09/09/2021: ‘Dreadful day for children in care’ – campaigners react to supported accommodation changes

The introduction of legislation that bans the use of unregulated supported accommodation for all under-16s will create a two-tier care system that discriminates against older children, according to campaigners. Following a Department for Education consultation, unregulated placements which do not provide care for children aged under 16 have been banned from today (9 September).

08/09/2021: Foster care matching needs resource boost to tackle “crisis” decision-making, research finds

Increased resource would reduce “rushed” matches and allow improved information sharing and consideration of children’s identities and needs, What Works for Children’s Social Care recommends. Foster care matching needs more resource to tackle the “crisis atmosphere” of many placement decisions, research has recommended.

03/09/2021: Youth charity receives £1.6m boost to support unemployed care leaver

A youth charity in the west of England has received a £1.6m grant to help care leavers access work, training and education. Charity 1625 Independent People (1625IP) has been awarded funding by Youth Futures Foundation and the West of England Combined Authority to extend its Reboot West programme until March 2025.

03/09/2021: Judge: bespoke placements for children will be ‘considerably harder’ following unregulated provision ban

Judge authorises unregulated placement for 15-year-old girl but will reconsider following upcoming law change banning use for under-16s. The forthcoming ban on placing children in care aged under 16 in unregulated accommodation will make it ‘considerably harder’ to find bespoke placements for young people with urgent needs.

02/09/2021: Call to extend unregulated settings ban ahead of introduction for under-16s

Social work and charity leaders have reiterated calls for an outright ban on the use of unregulated supported accommodation for all children a week before such settings are banned for those under 16. Following a Department for Education consultation, unregulated placements which do not provide care for children aged under 16 will be banned from 9 September with a set of national standards due to be put in place for those housing young people aged 16 and 17.

31/08/2021: ‘Why recognising foster carers as workers would provide more stability for children and reduce costs’

A 20-year legal precedent leaves foster carers without employment rights and disrupts children’s care. It’s time for this to change, says Jane Collins. The astronomical cost of children’s social care is back in the spotlight. It is a key area of focus for the children’s social care review, as set out in its ‘case for change’ report. Ahead of its publication in June, the man leading the review, Josh MacAlister, urged residential care providers to cut their “indefensible” fees and profit levels.

18/08/2021: Children’s rights charity granted judicial review of ‘discriminatory’ unregulated placements legislation

The High Court has granted a judicial review of incoming legal changes that will ban the use of unregulated placements for children in care aged under 16. Children’s rights charity Article 39, which has brought the legal challenge, is one of a number of organisations to have argued that the controversial move leaves 16- and 17-year-olds, who account for most unregulated placements, exposed to harm.

13/08/2021: High Court ruling over boy detained in hospital highlights ‘acute lack’ of care placements

The detention of a 12-year-old boy with “complex medical and behavioural issues” at a hospital in Wigan highlights “an acute lack of appropriate resources for vulnerable children”, a High Court judge has said. The child, known as Y, was physically and chemically restrained in hospital last month and, at points, was handcuffed and guarded by as many as 13 police officers, the court heard.

05/08/2021: Sector split on unregulated placements overhaul as under-16s ban looms

Next month, councils will be banned from placing children in care aged under 16 in unregulated placements, the first stage of a planned reform of such ‘independent’ and ‘semi-independent’ accommodation. Stage two concerns the vast majority of such placements, for those aged 16 and 17, for which the government has proposed national standards, backed up by regulation by Ofsted, but on a more minimal basis than for children’s homes.

02/08/2021: Children’s home providers dismiss DCS calls to ‘dismantle’ private residential care market

Dismantling or radically changing the existing independent residential care sector will do little to improve the quality or cost of provision, children’s home providers have warned.

29/07/2021: Government signals shift towards national adoption services under latest strategy

Plan proposes boost to national adoption leadership body and development of national standards, and moots England-wide matching service and commissioning of adoption support

28/07/2021: Dire poverty in north-east England ‘driving many more children into care’

The 12 directors of children’s services in the north-east of England have warned that “shameful” levels of poverty in the region are driving dramatic rises in child protection intervention and the number of children in care. The north-east has the highest rate of referrals to children’s social care in the UK, significantly higher than the national average, according to a joint report by the directors of children’s services in the region.

Read: Guardian

26/07/2021: National Adoption Strategy: £48m to improve services in England

A new £48m National Adoption Strategy seeks to improve adoption services and help place more children with families as it launches in England. Thousands of families will benefit from better support when adopting children – ending a postcode lottery that many face, the government said. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “There is no substitute for a loving, permanent family.”

Read: BBC

26/07/2021: Proportion of privately run children’s homes up by 12 per cent, Ofsted figures show

The number of children’s homes run by private companies increased by 12 per cent in the year to March 2021, new analysis by Ofsted shows. Between April 2020 and March this year, the figure increased from 1,869 homes to 2,096. In the same time period, the number of homes run by voluntary sector providers declined by 12 per cent from 160 to 141 homes.

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.

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).

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

15/09/2021: Online child abuse crimes have surged by three-quarters and more must be done to protect children online

While online abuse crimes have surged by 78% over the last four years, new Government plans to regulate social media through the Online Safety Bill fall significantly short of tackling this issue.

Read: NSPCC

06/09/2021: Reports of sex abuse between children double in two years

Reports of children sexually abusing other children doubled in the two years to 2019, according to police figures obtained by BBC Panorama. The programme has followed up on research from 2017, when police recorded almost 8,000 reports of abuse among under-18s in England and Wales. Yearly reports have risen to between 15,000 and 16,000, but cases fell in 2020-21 during the pandemic.

Read: BBC

02/09/2021: Millions of children in religious groups in England and Wales vulnerable to abuse

Children involved in religious organisations, including Sunday schools and madrasas, are vulnerable to sexual abuse in cultures where victim blaming, abuse of power and mistrust of external authorities are common, a report says.

Read: Guardian

02/09/2021: IWF welcomes new online safety rules but warns more still needs to be done to make sure children are safe online

New online safety rules are a welcome step, but more still needs to be done to make sure children are kept safe online, says the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The Age Appropriate Design Code, which comes into effect today (September 2), sets out 15 standards that online services need to follow. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says this ensures they are complying with their obligations under data protection law to protect children’s data online.

24/08/2021: NSPCC: Record numbers of children groomed online amid pandemic

Record numbers of child grooming incidents took place online during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, police data shows. There were 5,441 sexual communication with a child offences recorded across 42 police forces between April 2020 and March 2021, data obtained by the NSPCC through a Freedom of Information request shows.

24/08/2021: Facebook ‘fuels child grooming’: Rise in offences is blamed on tech giant as it emerges online cases rocketed during Covid pandemic

Online grooming of children shot up during the pandemic with almost half of offences carried out via apps owned by Facebook, a major report said yesterday. The NSPCC said offences of sexual communication with a child recorded by police went up nearly 70 per cent between 2018 and 2021.

Read: Daily Mail

22/08/2021: What happens to the children of women killed by men?

In the latest part of our series, we highlight the lack of official support in the UK for traumatised youngsters and those left to pick up the pieces. But, amid the grief, is there still hope for the future?

Read: Guardian

21/08/2021: Serious child harm cases in England rose by 20% during pandemic

Serious child harm cases reported by councils in England rose by nearly 20% during the first year of the pandemic, including a 19% rise in child death notifications, according to latest official statistics. There were 536 serious incident reports in England during 2020/21, up 87 (19%) from 449 in 2019/20, and an increase of 41% on the number of incidents recorded five years ago. Children aged under one accounted for 36% of notifications last year.

Read: Guardian

20/08/2021: ADCS: ‘significant concern’ over care review’s suggestion of ‘tension’ between protection and support

The vice president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) has described as a “significant concern” suggestions made by the children’s care review of separating early help and child protection services. “We don’t think [separating services] is a good move,” Steve Crocker, who is also the DCS in Hampshire, told Community Care this week in an interview following the closing date for submissions responding to the review’s initial ‘case for change’ report.

11/08/2021: England’s pandemic crisis of child abuse, neglect and poverty

A looming crisis of children suffering abuse, neglect and poverty has been exposed, with growing numbers of young people taken into care in some of England’s most deprived communities during the pandemic. A Guardian investigation into the state of children’s services in the last 18 months has revealed a sharp rise in social services referrals during lockdown, plus spiralling costs for mental health support and a bulging backlog in the family courts, with some councils buckling under the weight of the extra work brought by coronavirus.

Read: Guardian

11/08/2021: Crisis in children’s services in England is shocking if not surprising

The problems faced by England’s children’s services described in the Guardian’s investigation – buckling under the weight of youngsters taken into care and struggling to help vulnerable families in need – are shocking if not surprising. This is a crisis that has been long brewing. The pandemic has made it even more acute.

Read: Guardian

05/08/2021: Nine in 10 child sexual abuse survivors experience mental health problems, review finds

The mental health of almost all survivors of child sexual abuse has been impacted by their ordeal, new research shows. Research from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse found that 88 per cent of victims and survivors have seen their mental health impacted as a result of their abuse.

28/07/2021: Campaigners push to stop this being ‘the summer of online sexual abuse’ against children

Campaigners are warning teenagers and their parents about online grooming and sexual exploitation as schools break up for the summer. Campaigners are warning teens about online grooming and sexual abuse during the school summer holidays as a former top police child protection expert says the problem has “escalated” in recent years. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), with support from tech companies including Microsoft, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok, is reaching out to teenagers to empower them to stand up to online grooming and child sexual abuse.

26/07/2021: More than 250 people have been convicted of child sex abuse while working with the Scouts, new figures show

More than 250 people involved with the Scouts have been convicted of child sexual abuse, it was revealed yesterday. There were 255 convictions for rape, indecent assault, voyeurism and offences related to sexual images among Scout leaders and others in positions of responsibility.

Read: Daily Mail

25/07/2021: More than 250 convicted of child sexual abuse in UK and Ireland while in Scout movement

More than 250 people in the UK and Ireland have been convicted of child sexual abuse offences committed while they were Scout leaders or in other positions of responsibility within the Scout movement since the 1950s, according to analysis that raises questions about the organisation’s safeguarding procedures.

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

21/09/2021: Twitch hate raids: Minority streamers have ‘a target on their back’

“I’ve been told to kill myself, called the T-slur for trans people, the F-slur for gay people and misgendered numerous times.” You might have seen hashtags like #DoBetterTwitch or #ADayOffTwitch trending over the past few weeks and months. It’s because of the flood of abuse that streamers, mainly from minority or marginalised communities are receiving on games streaming platform Twitch.

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.

18/09/2021: ‘I felt my body wasn’t good enough’: teenage troubles with Instagram

Internal research by Facebook that found its Instagram app worsens body image issues for young users has been leaked, revealing how aware the social media giant is of its product’s effect on mental health. According to leaked documents, research by the company over the last two years has consistently found that the photo-sharing platform is harmful to a large proportion of its users – particularly teenage girls.

Read: Guardian

15/09/2021: Online child abuse crimes have surged by three-quarters and more must be done to protect children online

While online abuse crimes have surged by 78% over the last four years, new Government plans to regulate social media through the Online Safety Bill fall significantly short of tackling this issue.

Read: NSPCC

02/09/2021: UK children’s digital privacy UK children’s digital privacy code comes into effect

A sweeping set of regulations governing how online services should treat children’s data have been welcomed by campaigners as they come into effect. The Age Appropriate Design Code – which was written into law as part of the 2018 Data Protection Act, which also implemented GDPR in the UK – mandates websites and apps from Thursday to take the “best interests” of their child users into account, or face fines of up to 4% of annual global turnover.

Read: Guardian

02/09/2021: IWF welcomes new online safety rules but warns more still needs to be done to make sure children are safe online

New online safety rules are a welcome step, but more still needs to be done to make sure children are kept safe online, says the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The Age Appropriate Design Code, which comes into effect today (September 2), sets out 15 standards that online services need to follow. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says this ensures they are complying with their obligations under data protection law to protect children’s data online.

01/09/2021: FREE Online Safety Day Tickets Now Available

We are pleased to announce that SWGfL’s Online Safety Day has returned for 2021 and tickets are now available! This annual event powered by Facebook taking place on Wednesday 29th September 13:00 – 15:00pm brings together hundreds of professionals throughout the UK to hear about the current state of online safety for the new school year.

24/08/2021: Facebook ‘fuels child grooming’: Rise in offences is blamed on tech giant as it emerges online cases rocketed during Covid pandemic

Online grooming of children shot up during the pandemic with almost half of offences carried out via apps owned by Facebook, a major report said yesterday. The NSPCC said offences of sexual communication with a child recorded by police went up nearly 70 per cent between 2018 and 2021.

Read: Daily Mail

16/08/2021: Social media trains people to be morally outraged, Yale researchers find

A high number of ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ on social media posts incentivizes people to become morally outraged, Yale researchers have found. “Social media’s incentives are changing the tone of our political conversations online,” said Yale’s William Brady, a postdoctoral researcher in the Yale Department of Psychology who worked with associate professor of psychology Molly Crockett on the research.

Read: Independent

29/07/2021: Instagram Defaults Private Accounts for Young People

This week, Instagram have announced some new changes into how young people’s social media accounts can be managed in order to detract from unwanted followers and messages from strangers. This has been in response to ensuring that the platform is doing what they can to keep children and young people safe online whilst allowing them to continue to experience the benefits of social media.

28/07/2021: Campaigners push to stop this being ‘the summer of online sexual abuse’ against children

Campaigners are warning teenagers and their parents about online grooming and sexual exploitation as schools break up for the summer. Campaigners are warning teens about online grooming and sexual abuse during the school summer holidays as a former top police child protection expert says the problem has “escalated” in recent years. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), with support from tech companies including Microsoft, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok, is reaching out to teenagers to empower them to stand up to online grooming and child sexual abuse.

27/07/2021: Instagram makes under-16s’ accounts private by default

Instagram has made new under-16s’ accounts private by default so only approved followers can see posts and “like” or comment. Tests showed only one in five opted for a public account when the private setting was the default, it said.

Read: BBC

23/07/2021: Parents’ fears over sexting and abuse among teenagers

A vivid picture of sexual assaults and harassment in teenagers’ lives has been laid bare in recent months but parents rarely speak about the emotional turmoil they face. Here, two of them tell their stories.

Read: BBC

21/07/2021: Law Commission Publishes Recommendations to Tackle Online Abuse

Today, the law commission has published new recommendations to address harm online through protecting victims of online abuse as well as aiming to protect freedom of expression. These new recommendations have been put forward as a result of previous laws that govern online abuse being ineffective against common types of harm online, often over criminalising certain situations and under criminalising others whilst relying on ‘vague’ terms to determine the severity of the situation.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

13/09/2021: Youth Endowment Fund to support violence reduction research

More than £700,000 has been awarded by the Youth Endowment Fund to support research into keeping children safe from violence, it has been announced. The money will be used to evaluate projects working with children and young people run by smaller organisations that often do not get to test their work using some of the most robust types of research such as randomised control trials (RCTs) because such evaluations only work when there are lots of children and young people taking part in a project.

09/09/2021: Anne Longfield launches commission to protect children from gangs

Anne Longfield, the former children’s commissioner for England, has launched her independent commission to prevent children becoming involved in gangs and crime. The Commission on Young Lives has a particular focus on preventing young people falling victim to gang county lines drug distribution networks.

07/09/2021: New Tool For Anonymous Reporting Of Unsafe Areas

The Home Office and the National Police Chief’s Council have just launched a new tool called StreetSafe for anyone to anonymously tell the police about public places where they have felt or feel unsafe, because of environmental issues, eg street lighting, abandoned buildings or vandalism and/or because of some behaviours, eg being followed or verbally abused. The service is being launched as a pilot and the police are making it clear that it is not to be used for report crime or other specific incidents. This is because the tool is designed to be anonymous, so the police would not be able to respond in any case.

22/08/2021: What happens to the children of women killed by men?

In the latest part of our series, we highlight the lack of official support in the UK for traumatised youngsters and those left to pick up the pieces. But, amid the grief, is there still hope for the future?

Read: Guardian

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

11/08/2021: Five new programmes to tackle youth violence in 2021

A raft of experts and charities have announced new programmes to help tackle youth violence amid fears there could be an increase in young people targeted by criminal gangs sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Former children’s commissioner for England Anne Longfield is among experts who have issued warnings over the issue.

11/08/2021: £10m youth violence prevention scheme launches

A £10m funding initiative to back programmes that support families to keep children safe and divert them away from violent crime has been launched. The funding will back parenting programmes in England and Wales, including those for foster carers and residential care workers, to help parents and children develop positive behaviours.

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.

27/07/2021: Crime plan invests in measures to tackle youth violence

Schools and hospitals in violent crime hotspot areas will receive additional funding to prevent youth violence under new measures announced by the government. The Beating Crime Plan, announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel today, includes £45m in specialist support for education settings to prevent violence, and an additional £17m for Violence Reduction Units (VRU) to divert those at greatest risk.

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

23/07/2021: Youth violence likely to explode over summer, UK experts fear

Experts and charities have raised the alarm about rising youth violence in the UK and say it could erupt over the summer, aggravated by Covid lockdowns, mental health problems and months out of education. Overstretched youth services lack the funding and resources needed to tackle the problem and are bracing themselves for a surge in violence similar to that seen when lockdown was lifted last year, according to Kayleigh Wainwright, the director of collective action at the national charity UK Youth.

Read: Guardian

22/07/2021: ‘I thought rape isn’t something that happens to men’

Alex Feis-Bryce was 18 when he was raped by a stranger at a party. He had recently come out as gay, and moved from his small town to Manchester to study.

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.

18/07/2021: Knife crime: Mum tells teenagers about her son’s murder (Video)

Jean Foster’s son Christopher was murdered in a case of mistaken identity in 2013 while out with friends in Borough High Street. She’s been telling her story to teenagers at a school in east London to try to deter them from carrying a knife and getting involved with violent gangs. The presentation was part of a campaign by the Metropolitan Police to try to curb a potential rise in violent crime as lockdown restrictions ease ahead of the school summer holidays.

Read: BBC

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

21/09/2021: Children face ‘agonising’ waits for mental health care

Children struggling with mental health problems during the pandemic are facing “agonisingly” long waits for treatment, a BBC investigation has found. Data from half of England’s specialist child mental health services found one in five youngsters seen since Covid hit waited longer than 12 weeks for care. The numbers still waiting also appear to be rising sharply.

Read: BBC

21/09/2021: Young people ‘at risk of repeat homelessness’ if £20 Universal Credit uplift cut, charities warn

Cutting the £20-a-week Universal Credit increase will put young people at risk of repeat homelessness, more than 40 charities have warned. They have written a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him not to remove the Universal Credit (UC) uplift at the end of the month. Led by Centrepoint and End Youth Homelessness, the letter says the increase has been a “lifeline” after it was temporarily introduced to help claimants during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read: Sky

20/09/2021: Autism therapy aimed at infants may reduce likelihood of later diagnosis

Doctors have shown for the first time that a new therapy aimed at infants can reduce autistic behaviour and the likelihood the children will go on to be diagnosed with autism before they reach school age. Infants who received the therapy after displaying early signs of potential autism, such as avoiding eye contact and not responding to their name, were one-third as likely to have autism diagnosed at the age of three, compared with those who had standard care, the researchers found.

Read: Guardian

19/09/2021: Child poverty now costs Britain £38bn a year, says new independent report

The findings, to be released in the next few days, will add to concerns over government plans to end the £20-a-week uplift for universal credit, as MPs of all parties voice concerns that a cut will hit low-income families with children particularly hard. The new research, by Professor Donald Hirsch of Loughborough University, is the third study of its kind he has conducted over the past 15 years.

Read: Guardian

18/09/2021: ‘I felt my body wasn’t good enough’: teenage troubles with Instagram

Internal research by Facebook that found its Instagram app worsens body image issues for young users has been leaked, revealing how aware the social media giant is of its product’s effect on mental health. According to leaked documents, research by the company over the last two years has consistently found that the photo-sharing platform is harmful to a large proportion of its users – particularly teenage girls.

Read: Guardian

15/09/2021: Disadvantaged children least confident being active, research warns

Children from low-income backgrounds are far less confident in being active and taking part in sport, according to the Youth Sport Trust. The Trust found that only around half of 11- to 16-year-olds from low income groups rated themselves as confident taking part in physical activity.

13/09/2021: Sharp rise in acute medical beds occupied by children with nowhere else to go

A third of all children’s acute hospital beds in parts of England are being occupied by vulnerable children who do not need acute medical care but have nowhere else to go, safeguarding experts have warned. Doctors say they feel like very expensive “babysitters” for vulnerable children, many of whom are in care but whose placements have broken down because of their violent and self-harming behaviour.

Read: Guardian

10/09/2021: Why you need to be teaching sexual citizenship

Teaching pupils to engage positively with their sexual identity is key to tackling sexual harassment, says one expert. “It’s really hard to talk to young people about what makes sex safe if you’re not going to talk about pleasure,” says sex and relationships adviser Jonny Hunt.

Read: Sky

09/09/2021: Scouts rolls out Squirrels programme for pre-school children

Scouts has launched a UK-wide roll out of its ‘Squirrels’ programme for four- to five-year-olds, with a focus on communities most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiative launches in 200 areas across the UK and follows a pilot that began in 2019, which focused on supporting areas of deprivation and Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

08/09/2021: Special-needs support beyond crisis, heads say

Support for pupils who have special needs is “beyond crisis” in England and “sucking money from budgets” for all children, a report says. Nearly all schools (97%) responding to a survey by a head teachers’ union said they received insufficient funding to support pupils who had special needs. The National Association of Head Teachers says funding has to rise so all pupils can be supported to learn.

Read: BBC

08/09/2021: Pandemic and online pressures drive decline in girls’ happiness

There has been a significant decline in happiness among girls and young women over the past three years, with the impact of the pandemic and online harms major factors, a survey by Girlguiding has found. The uniformed youth charity’s latest Girls’ Attitudes Survey reveals the proportion of girls who describe themselves as being “happy most of the time” fell to 63 per cent in 2021, down from 81 per cent in 2018.

07/09/2021: New Tool For Anonymous Reporting Of Unsafe Areas

The Home Office and the National Police Chief’s Council have just launched a new tool called StreetSafe for anyone to anonymously tell the police about public places where they have felt or feel unsafe, because of environmental issues, eg street lighting, abandoned buildings or vandalism and/or because of some behaviours, eg being followed or verbally abused. The service is being launched as a pilot and the police are making it clear that it is not to be used for report crime or other specific incidents. This is because the tool is designed to be anonymous, so the police would not be able to respond in any case.

03/09/2021: UK Youth launches project to shape mental health support for young black people

A new project will see young people who have experienced poor mental health and racial injustice shape the way support is delivered. The Young Changemakers programme will see 16- to 25-year-olds “given the opportunity to change mental health support for the better and affect real change”, according to UK Youth, which is behind the initiative.

31/08/2021: One million children missing out on free school meals, research shows

More than one million children living in poverty across the UK are missing out on free school meals due to eligibility criteria, a report warns. The research from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Covid Realities shows that 36 per cent of all school-aged children living in poverty in the UK are not entitled to a free meal at school.

26/08/2021: Rural areas hardest hit by youth work cuts, NYA warns

Cuts to youth work services in rural areas have left young people at risk of grooming from criminal gangs, poor mental health and a lack of employment support, according to a new report.

03/09/2021: Supporting Meaningful Participation In Youth Justice

Last week (27 August 2021) HM Inspectorate of Probation 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.

03/09/2021: Court of Appeal rules the London-wide lack of secure accommodation for children is unlawful

This was an appeal against the dismissal of a claim for judicial review, which was brought on the grounds that the Local Borough of Waltham Forest does not have a reasonable system in place for the provision of secure accommodation to meet requests for such accommodation made by the police pursuant to section 38(6) of PACE 1984. The Court of Appeal granted leave and upheld the appeal, ruling that the failure by local authorities in London to provide appropriate alternative accommodation for children arrested and held by the police is unlawful.

31/08/2021: Rise in black and ethnic minority staff working in youth justice system

The proportion of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff working within the youth secure estate has risen to the highest level in five years as part of efforts to address racial disparities across the youth justice system.

23/08/2021: Child arrests in England and Wales reduced by 74 per cent in a decade

Arrests of children have been reduced by 74 per cent over the last decade, figures reveal today (Monday 23 August) in another major step forward for a successful Howard League for Penal Reform campaign.

16/08/2021: Traumatic Brain Injury And The Criminal Justice System

Hope Kent and Professor Huw Williams highlight the prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among people in contact with the justice system, and its links with offending.

09/08/2021: The dangers of incentivising children to plead guilty

In this article for the Journal of Law and Society Dr Rebecca Helm, of the University of Exeter, assesses the extent to which the current guilty-plea procedure is consistent with legitimations of criminal convictions, with a focus on decision-making in child defendants. She argues that differences in children’s brains relating to their sensitivity to pressure and rewards, make it more likely they will admit to crimes they didn’t commit when incentivized to do so.

06/08/2021: Supreme Court voices ‘deep anxiety’ over ongoing secure home shortage in face of judges’ repeated warnings

The Supreme Court has voiced its ‘deep anxiety’ over the ongoing shortage of secure accommodation for children and highlighted the government’s failure to address it in the face of repeated warnings by judges. The comments came in a judgment in which the court said it was lawful, but an “imperfect stop gap”, for the High Court to use its inherent jurisdiction to authorise children’s deprivation of liberty outside of approved secure accommodation.

29/07/2021: Crime reduction plan ‘falls short’ for young people, NYA says

The government’s new crime reduction strategy “falls short” of supporting young people away from criminal activity, the National Youth Agency (NYA) has said. Home Secretary Priti Patel’s Beating Crime Plan offers £17m for Violence Reduction Units, including funding for specialist youth workers and programmes which embed youth workers in A&E.

28/07/2021: Call for police and crime commissioners to improve diversion among young adults

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have been urged to ensure local policing plans include proposals to support young adults away from crime. A 10-point plan published by Revolving Doors Agency alongside the Transition to Adulthood Alliance (T2A), with input from young adults with experience of the criminal justice system, calls for PCCs to “create a distinct approach to engaging and collaborating with young adults”.

28/07/2021: Call for police and crime commissioners to improve diversion among young adults

Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) have been urged to ensure local policing plans include proposals to support young adults away from crime. A 10-point plan published by Revolving Doors Agency alongside the Transition to Adulthood Alliance (T2A), with input from young adults with experience of the criminal justice system, calls for PCCs to “create a distinct approach to engaging and collaborating with young adults”.

27/07/2021: Crime plan invests in measures to tackle youth violence

Schools and hospitals in violent crime hotspot areas will receive additional funding to prevent youth violence under new measures announced by the government. The Beating Crime Plan, announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel today, includes £45m in specialist support for education settings to prevent violence, and an additional £17m for Violence Reduction Units (VRU) to divert those at greatest risk.

26/07/2021: Multi-Agency Work In Youth Offending Services

The latest Research and Analysis Bulletin from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation focuses on multi-agency work in Youth Offending Services. This series pulls together all the data and learning from numerous inspections (in this case 45 YOT inspections carried out between June 2018 and July 2020) to provide key insights.

22/07/2021: Too Many Women Sent To Prison For Short Sentences

A new (20 July 2021) briefing from the Prison Reform Trust: Why focus on reducing women’s imprisonment? reveals that most women are sent to prison for non-violent offences and serve sentences of 12 months or less. 72% of women who entered prison under sentence in 2020 have committed a non-violent offence. Furthermore, 70% of prison sentences given to women were for less than 12 months.

22/07/2021: More success for Howard League programme as criminalisation rate for children in residential care reduces further

Hundreds more boys and girls can look forward to a brighter future today (Thursday 22 July) as government figures reveal the transformative impact of the Howard League’s programme to end the criminalisation of children in residential care. Data collected by the Department for Education (DfE) show that, while the number of children being placed in children’s homes continues to rise, the number being criminalised is falling significantly.

16/07/2021: Police-assisted interventions ‘crucial’ to prevent reoffending, review finds

Investment in police-assisted diversion services is crucial to keeping young people out of the criminal justice system, new research has found. A new evidence review by the national justice charity Revolving Doors for T2A (Transition to Adulthood) states that delivering tailored interventions that meet the health and human needs of young adults can turn young people’s lives around, reduce crime and improve public safety.

FILTER: News

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