18/07/2019: Action needed against ‘rogue’ homes for teenagers, says minister (BBC)
Unregulated accommodation for 16 and 17-year-olds may be subject to licensing and registration after claims children were being put at risk. Children’s minister Nadhim Zahawi told BBC Newsnight he wanted to eliminate a “rogue element” in some 16+ supported and semi-supported accommodation. His words follow calls to regulate these homes. Standard children’s homes are regulated by Ofsted.
18/07/2019: Child mental health unit referrals ‘up nearly 50%’ (BBC)
Referrals to child mental health units from UK primary schools for pupils aged 11 and under have risen by nearly 50% in three years, the BBC has learned. Replies to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from 46 health trusts indicate they rose from 21,125 to 31,531. Seven trusts said they had rejected an individual pupil for treatment at least five times over the last four years.
18/07/2019: Scrutiny of social work practice as part of ‘deep dive’ children’s mental health inspections (Community Care)
New inspections focusing on children’s mental health will include in-depth examinations of how agencies assess and support 10-15-year-olds in care or involved with social workers, Ofsted has announced. Six joint targeted area inspections (JTAIs) involving Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), HMI Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, and HMI Probation will begin in September, with a remit to explore multi-agency responses to children with mental ill-health.
18/07/2019: UK children would rather grow up to be youtubers than go to space, poll finds (Independent)
There was once a time when the height of ambition for many children was to be fireman, police officer or even an astronaut. But now, in the age of Generation Influencer, it seems youngsters have other ideas as a third of young Britons and Americans want to be vloggers, new research reveals.
17/07/2019: Domestic abuse report exposes hidden side of rural life (BBC)
A “deeply hidden and disturbing side to rural life” has been laid bare by an 18-month inquiry into domestic abuse in the English countryside. Domestic abuse victims there suffer for longer, are less likely to report abuse and struggle to get support, it said. Victims are isolated, unsupported and unprotected in a “rural hell” that protects the perpetrators, the National Rural Crime Network report found.
17/07/2019: New joint inspections to target children’s mental health (Children and Young People Now)
Local services will be judged on how they respond jointly to children’s mental ill health in new themed area inspections, Ofsted has announced. Councils, schools, the police, youth offending teams, and health professionals will be subject to the new regime from September 2019. Ofsted, Care Quality Commission (CQC), HMI Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, and HMI Probation will look at how services work together to improve child mental health.
17/07/2019: Legal duty on public bodies to tackle knife crime together (Children and Young People Now)
Public sector organisations will be legally bound to work together to tackle serious violence including knife crime under a new duty announced by the government. Concerns had been raised by councils over the prospect of individual professionals being placed under the public health duty, after Home Secretary Sajid Javid launched an eight-week consultation on the proposal in April.
17/07/2019: Children’s social care workforce inquiry launches (Children and Young People Now)
An inquiry into children’s social work will examine what the workforce needs in order to provide the best help and protection for families, the parliamentary education committee has announced. The committee aims to explore “what social work looks like in 2019” – focusing on the capacity of social workers to intervene early, as well as how effectively they can access professional development and support.
17/07/2019: Boost legal protection and funding for child victims of domestic abuse, campaigners urge (Children and Young People Now)
Campaigners have cautiously welcomed the new Domestic Abuse Bill, but claim that “fundamental changes” are still needed to give children the protection they need. The landmark bill, which received its first reading yesterday (16 July), introduces the first statutory definition of domestic abuse as well as a commissioner to champion victims and survivors.
17/07/2019: Into the Lighthouse: the UK’s first safe space for child sexual abuse victims (Guardian)
Tucked behind a busy north London road, the UK’s first “safe space” for child sexual abuse victims is an oasis of calm. Set over two floors, the building is airy and light. The toxic legacy of child abuse gets minimal attention, yet the problem amounts to a public health challenge, say experts. Although we don’t know exactly how many children in the UK experience sexual abuse as it’s hidden from view, research suggests one in 20 children have been sexually abused, yet many more incidents go undetected, unreported and untreated.
17/07/2019: Number of small schools in England has halved since 1980 (Guardian)
The number of small schools in England has halved in recent decades, with those in rural and village settings twice as likely to have shut their doors as those in urban areas, according to research. The study says primary schools have undergone a dramatic transformation, with children increasingly being taught in “super-jumbo” institutions in towns and cities, many with more than 800 pupils, leaving villages to mourn the loss of a vital community asset.
17/07/2019: Schools could face new mental health inspections (Times Education Supplement)
Inspectors will be checking whether schools have systems in place to identify children whose mental health is deteriorating, under a new inspection regime. Schools will be included in new joint area inspections which will examine how local services respond to children living with mental ill health. The new checks will also assess whether schools make timely referrals to specialist mental health services.
11/07/2019: Mental health training scheme to be extended to 22,000 schools and colleges (Children and Young People Now)
A £9.3m national rollout of a mental health training scheme is aiming to better support students through their schools and colleges. The government-backed Link Programme joins up local health and education provision in and drive to tackle mental health problems early. The initiative, which was trialled at 1,500 settings from 2015, now aims to reach around 22,000 schools, colleges and alternative provision centres across England.
11/07/2019: Young carers of parents with mental illess ‘need extra support’ (Children and Young People Now)
Councils should carry out transition assessments on all young carers of parents with a mental illness to ensure they are fully supported as they enter adulthood, new research suggests. A research paper, Young adult carers: making choices and managing relationships with a parent with a mental illness, published by the University of East Anglia, reveals there is a “clear need” for more support for these young people as they approach 18.
09/07/2019: Government must ‘create childhood strategy’, charity urges (Children and Young People Now)
Social pressures and a collapse in investment in children’s services are causing a “growing crisis” in childhoods, a charity has claimed, calling on the government to set up a National Childhood Strategy to address this. Action for Children made the call at the launch of its ‘Choose Childhood’ campaign, which aims to get the government to commit to an urgent action plan to give every child a safe and happy childhood.
08/07/2019: Criminalisation concerns follow 23k calls to police from children’s homes (Children and Young People Now)
Young people are at risk of unnecessary criminalisation as a result of excessive police callouts to children’s homes, campaigners claim. The Howard League for Penal Reform is calling for a government review of how police forces record information on the topic, after analysis identified potential missed opportunities to help rather than criminalise children.
05/07/2019: Children as young as seven exploited by county lines gangs (Children and Young People Now)
Children as young as seven are being used to move drugs for organised gangs, according to new research from The Children’s Society. The report, Counting Lives: Responding to Children that are Criminally Exploited, finds that while teenagers are most at risk of exploitation, targeting of children of primary school age is increasing.
04/07/2019: Number of pupils with SEN rises for third year to 1.3m (Children and Young People Now)
The prevalence of special educational needs (SEN) in England has risen for a third consecutive year to 14.9 per cent of all school pupils, according to official statistics released today. Department for Education analysis of the schools census shows that as of January 2019 there were more pupils needing both SEN and higher level support from an education, health and care plan (EHCP) or statement.
27/06/2019: Justice minister defends use of youth custody (Children and Young People Now)
Campaigners against child imprisonment have been dealt a blow after the government resisted calls to set out plans to end youth custody. During a parliamentary debate on ending child imprisonment, justice minister Edward Argar admitted that the youth secure estate “requires real reform”, but said that the system needs to retain custody as an option.
26/06/2019: Online self-help resources ‘preventing child sex abuse’ (Children and Young People Now)
Self-help resources are increasingly being used by people worried about their sexual attitudes towards children, the Home Secretary has reported. Speaking at the NSPCC’s annual conference on Tuesday, Sajid Javid said that more people are reporting online images of sexual abuse, and more of those who are viewing or considering viewing the images are seeking help.
26/06/2019: The challenges of tackling county lines in a rural area (Community Care)
I clearly remember first becoming aware of the existence and terminology of county lines. I was working as an assessment team manager in a rural county in south-west England in 2014-15. There appeared to be a new pattern in some of the referrals coming through for young people and vulnerable parents.
25/06/2019: Inspectors find rising levels of violence and force in YO (Children and Young People Now)
Rising levels of violence and use of force by staff at a young offender institution (YOI) has led to campaigners renewing calls for an end to the use of custody for children. The call, by The Howard League for Penal Reform, is in response to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons’ report on Werrington YOI.