This week…

20/09/2018: Two cases that illustrate why robust social work court evidence is so vital

We are all familiar with the fact that court proceedings relating to both children’s and adults’ cases are on the increase. This means that you as social care professionals are increasingly at risk of having your evidence examined in court. The two contrasting cases below illustrate the impact the social worker’s evidence can have on the local authority’s case. Although the cases relate to children, the same principles can be applied in adult cases.

Source: Community Care

20/09/2018: ‘Vile’ county lines drug gangs who use children to deal heroin and crack cocaine will be met with new £2m enforcement unit

Gangs using child foot soldiers to flood the streets with heroin and crack cocaine will be met with ‘zero tolerance’, the Education Secretary said yesterday. Damian Hinds attacked the ‘vile’ criminals preying on youngsters as he promised the vulnerable would be given protection. He spoke out as the Department for Education unveiled a £2million ‘county lines’ unit to support councils in protecting those most at risk.

Source: Daily Mail

19/09/2018: Happiness declining in girls and young women in UK, survey reveals

The happiness of girls and young women in Britain has declined in the last 10 years, new research has revealed. Figures from Girlguiding show just 25% of females aged seven to 21 said they were very happy in 2018, compared with 41% in 2009. Exams were the main cause of stress for 69% of those aged 11 to 21, according to the survey of 2,000 females.

Source: Sky

19/09/2018: ‘Sexist, unsafe’ world experienced by young girls

An “alarmingly high” number of girls and young women feel unsafe outside their home, according to annual research for Girlguiding UK. The survey of 1,903 13 to 21-year-olds in the UK found nearly two-thirds either felt unsafe, or knew someone who was fearful walking home alone. More than half had suffered harassment, or knew someone who had, it said.

Source: BBC

19/09/2018: Care staff ‘turn blind eye to children enslaved by county lines drug gangs’ because they weren’t abused at home so ‘don’t meet the threshold for safeguarding’

Children enslaved by county lines drug gangs are being rejected by councils even after they are referred for help, a leading charity claimed yesterday. Local authorities are regularly turning a blind eye to drug runners as young as 12 who have run away from home because they don’t meet the ‘threshold for safeguarding’, according to St Giles Trust. Evan Jones, head of community services at the charity, said half of their referrals to children’s services were ‘resisted’ because the victims weren’t abused at home.

Source: Daily Mail

19/09/2018: Teachers in England have lowest job satisfaction of all English-speaking countries, study finds

Teachers in England have lowest job satisfaction of all English-speaking countries, new study finds. Of 22 comparable countries, none have a lower level of job satisfaction among teachers than in England, according to UCL Institute of Education (IoE) research.

Source: Independent

19/09/2018: Girls ‘reluctant to become leaders’ due to negative media coverage

The number of teenage girls who aspire to become leaders has fallen, with girls blaming the decline on a working climate that favours men and negative media coverage of women. An annual survey by Girlguiding of around 1,900 girls and young women aged seven to 21 found that among the group aged 11 to 21, only 53 per cent said they wanted to be a leader in their chosen job, down on 63 per cent in 2016.

Source: Children and Young People Now

19/09/2018: Ofsted shakes-up inspections for ‘inadequate’ children’s services

Children’s services rated ‘inadequate’ will no longer face re-inspection under the single inspection framework (SIF), the watchdog has announced. The SIF was an intensive, ‘one size fits all’ four-week inspection of services that ran from 2013-17. Under the regime many authorities saw their ratings drop, and few were rated ‘outstanding’ overall. A new framework – inspections of local authority children’s services (ILACS) – was introduced at the start of this year with shorter ‘standard inspections’, and shorter inspections still for services rated ‘good’ or better.

Source: Community Care

19/09/2018: Film tells how murdered pupil was groomed online

The mother of murdered 14-year-old Breck Bednar, whose killer groomed him through an online gaming community, will appear in a film to be shown in secondary schools to highlight the dangers of online grooming. Breck was stabbed to death by computer engineer Lewis Daynes in his flat in Grays, Essex, in February 2014, in what a judge described as a “sexual and sadistic” killing. Daynes had lured Breck from Caterham, Surrey, to meet him.

Source: Times Education Supplement

18/09/2018: Government early years spending rises for first time in three years

The total amount spent by government on early years services rose for the first time in three years in 2017/18, but is still down on 2014/15 levels a report has found. A study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that the government’s combined spending on early years provision rose to £5.77bn in 2017/18.

Source: Children and Young People Now

18/09/2018: Using section 20 appropriately when accommodating children

Section 20 has been a hot topic among social workers and lawyers for several years now. There have been a number of high profile cases where awards of damages have been made against local authorities in relation to the misuse of section 20. As of March 2017, statistics show that 72,670 children were being looked after by local authorities in England, of which 16,470 (almost 23%) were accommodated without any court order. How many of those placements were at risk of judicial criticism or might have given rise to an award of damages?

Source: Community Care

18/09/2018: Rise in young people seeking help over peer-on-peer abuse in UK

Children and young people are increasingly seeking help over peer-on-peer sexual abuse, with a 29% jump in demand for counselling sessions in the last year, according to a leading UK helpline. Childline, a counselling service for young people up to the age of 19, warns the scale of the problem could be much greater than current figures suggest, as many children and teenagers do not understand that what has happened to them is abuse.

Source: Guardian

18/09/2018: Schools washing uniforms and offering food to families in need, governors say

Schools are washing pupils’ uniforms and offering food banks to help families in need, hundreds of governors have said. Almost half of governors say schools are offering additional services for families experiencing financial hardship, according to a survey by the National Governance Association (NGA) and Tes.

Source: Independent

18/09/2018: 29% rise in counselling sessions on peer sexual abuse

Childline has re-launched its #ListenToYourSelfie campaign after it held 3,878 counselling sessions about peer-on-peer sexual abuse in 2017/18 – a 29% rise since last year. #ListenToYourSelfie aims to prevent peer-on-peer abuse and encourgages young people to seek help if they’re in an unhealthy relationship.

Source: NSPCC

18/09/2018: Pupil poverty among 5 key school governor concerns

Hundreds of governors say their schools are washing the uniforms of pupils to ensure they can come to class in clean clothes. The worrying finding comes from a survey of more than 5,000 governors and trustees of schools and academy trusts carried out by Tes and the National Governance Association (NGA). The survey revealed concerns about school funding, teacher recruitment and governance within multi-academy trusts.

Source: Times Education Supplement

17/09/2018: Prioritising student mental health is ‘non-negotiable’, minister tells university bosses

There should be no room for negotiation over prioritising student mental health, an education minister has told university leaders. Sam Gyimah, who has written to university heads as Freshers’ Week gets underway, has called for greater leadership from the top to ensure student wellbeing is the number one priority.

Source: Independent

17/09/2018: Government’s commitment to keeping children safe online and what’s next for their plans for the Internet Safety Strategy

As children up and down the country prepared to go back to school, Members of Parliament were also returning to Westminster fresh from the summer recess. It was perhaps fitting with the new school term starting that Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, chose to remind us of the scale, complexity and ever-evolving threat of keeping children safe online.

Source: Internet Watch Foundation

Older news…

14/09/2018: Generation of young carers ‘neglected by society’
Source: Children and Young People Now

14/09/2018: Less than one in five children initially placed in family or friend care, research finds
Source: Community Care

14/09/2018: Number of children in care for emotional abuse soars
Source: Guardian

13/09/2018: Mothers want action over sexual assaults at school
Source: BBC

13/09/2018: Paedophiles viewing child sex abuse images once every 23 minutes in England and Wales as crimes rocket
Source: Independent

13/09/2018: Child abuse image offence recorded every 23 minutes in the UK
Source: NSPCC

13/09/2018: School staff failed to stop six-year-old playground rapes
Source: Times Education Supplement

13/09/2018: Generation Sensible: The 18-year-olds of today
Source: BBC

13/09/2018: Children’s mental health services ‘turning away cannabis-related cases’
Source: Children and Young People Now

13/09/2018: Care applications fall 5.7 per cent over two years
Source: Children and Young People Now

12/09/2018: Gypsy pupils experience bullying and racism, MPs told
Source: BBC

12/09/2018: Fresh call for smacking to be outlawed in the home
Source: BBC

12/09/2018: Educational psychologists demand UK-wide smacking ban
Source: Children and Young People Now

12/09/2018: Health visitors ‘should take lead on infant mental health’
Source: Children and Young People Now

12/09/2018: Quick guide to child development from birth to two years
Source: Community Care

11/09/2018: Serious case review criticises ‘overwhelmed’ social workers’ record-keeping
Source: Community Care

11/09/2018: Mental health issues in young people up sixfold in England since 1995
Source: Guardian

11/09/2018: Online Safety is bigger than just being safe online
Source: South West Grid for Learning

11/09/2018: Mental health issues in young people up sixfold in England since 1995
Source: Guardian

10/09/2018: Quality early years provision ‘leads to fewer emotional difficulties’
Source: Children and Young People Now

10/09/2018: Uniformed youth groups to expand with £5m funding boost
Source: Children and Young People Now

10/09/2018: Media focus on knife crime ‘fuelling excessive arrests of black children’
Source: Children and Young People Now

10/09/2018: Call for mandatory child abuse reporting
Source: Times Education Supplement

06/09/2018: Youth violence: Labour MP calls for action on ‘dangerous’ drill videos
Source: Children and Young People Now

06/09/2018: Pressure to withdraw sections of government ‘myth busting’ guide to children’s services due to legal concerns
Source: Community Care

06/09/2018: How social workers can tackle the effects of Islamophobia
Source:

05/09/2018: Healthy diet unaffordable for 3.7 million children, study finds
Source: Children and Young People Now

05/09/2018: Initiative to help youth services raise commercial income launches
Source: Children and Young People Now

04/09/2018: Free childcare scheme ‘closing’ nurseries, education charity says
Source: BBC

04/09/2018: Introducing NSPCC Learning
Source: NSPCC

04/09/2018: DfE ‘encouraging councils to shirk legal duties’
Source: Children and Young People Now

03/09/2018: Javid to warn over ‘shocking’ online child sex abuse
Source: BBC

03/09/2018: Vulnerable children ‘not listened to’ in ‘inadequate’ authority, Ofsted finds
Source: Community Care

03/09/2018: Call for tech firms to act as 80,000 in UK pose sexual threat to children
Source: Guardian

03/09/2018: Working families’ childcare costs outstrip wage rises, says TUC
Source: Guardian

03/09/2018: Over 130 suspected child sex offenders arrested in police raids
Source: Independent

03/09/2018: Statement: IWF comments on the Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s speech
Source: Internet Watch Foundation

03/09/2018: Bullied pupils scared to put hands up in class
Source: Times Education Supplement

03/09/2018: Home Secretary announces new measures to tackle child abuse
Source: Children and Young People Now

02/09/2018: Disabled single mother says she’s been left penniless after her son, 10, used her bank card to spend £1,000 on the video game Fortnite – because he ‘didn’t understand it was real money’
Source: Daily Mail

02/09/2018: Use of isolation booths in schools criticised as ‘barbaric’ punishment
Source: Guardian

31/08/2018: Pressure on school places: Up to 134,00 face missing out on place in the next five years as council leaders declare an ’emergency’
Source: Daily Mail

31/08/2018: Cuts in PE and PSHE prompt pupil health fears
Source: Times Education Supplement

31/08/2018: Ofsted criticises council leaders for ‘not making progress’
Source: Community Care

31/08/2018: Dozens of secondary schools exclude at least 20% of pupils
Source: Guardian

31/08/2018: Inspectors hail ‘innovative’ work with siblings of young offenders
Source: Children and Young People Now

31/08/2018: Back to School: Social Media advice for teachers from the Professionals Online Safety Helpline
Source: South West Grid for Learning

30/08/2018: Government proposes energy drinks ban for children
Source: BBC

30/08/2018: Spice should be upgraded to Class A drug, say police and crime commissioners
Source: Independent

30/08/2018: Home Office attempts to deport families ‘harmful’ to children and ‘often ineffective’, watchdog warns
Source: Independent