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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2008): Child welfare - UK

The 21st century slaves here in the UK

D. Ariyo

Community Care, Dec. 13th 2007, p. 24-25

Children trafficked into the UK from Africa, particularly Nigeria, are being exploited as domestic slaves by the better off relatives supposed to be looking after them. The author calls for prosecution of the guilty parties. Until people are prosecuted the practice of child domestic slavery will continue unabated.

Children and Young Persons Bill

London: TSO, 2007

The Bill will:

  • Allow local authorities to pilot social work practices, to which they may delegate responsibilities for looked-after children and care leavers
  • Ensure that children in care do not move schools in Key Stage 4
  • Put the role of designated teacher on a statutory footing
  • Require councils to offer a £2,000 bursary to care leavers who enter higher education
  • Restrict out-of-authority placements
  • Give young people more say in their placement plan, in particular when they move from a stable care placement to a less supportive place such as an independent flat
  • Extend the duty of social workers to visit children in care placed in children’s homes and those in youth custody
  • Make 'independent visitors' available to a wider group of looked-after children
  • Enable local authorities to financially support carers and make it easier for family carers to obtain orders granting legal permanency
  • Give foster carers access to an independent review mechanism
  • Ensure continuing supervision of children in long-term residential placements arranged via health and education services.

Leading work with young people

R. Harrison and others (editors)

Milton Keynes: Open University, 2007

The book provides a selection of writing from a complex and dynamic field of work and examines the leadership roles which practitioners take on as members of teams, organisations and interagency partnerships. The editors bring together key readings and newly commissioned material to present a variety of theoretical and practical perspectives on leading and managing work with young people.

Practise what we preach

M. Hunter

Community Care, Dec. 13th 2007, p. 18-19

The Children and Young Persons Bill will allow local authorities to pilot social work practices, to which they may delegate responsibilities for looked-after children and care leavers. Modelled on GP practices, these autonomous units will hold their own budgets, pay their own staff, and be made up of around ten partners, most of whom will be social workers. The prospect of independent social work practices has met with a mixed response from professionals in the field.

School exclusion, drug use and antisocial behaviour at 15/16 years: implications for youth transitions

P. McCrystal, A. Percy and K. Higgins

Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, vol. 2, 2007, p.181-191

Young people who do not complete compulsory schooling at the age of 16 are at increased risk of spending time not in education, employment of training (NEET). They are also more likely to become long-term unemployed, suffer poor health and engage in criminal activity. This paper reports the experiences of 77 young people in Belfast excluded from school at the age of 15/16. They reported high levels of antisocial behaviour and increasing detachment from the norms of mainstream society at a time when most young people are preparing to make the transition to adulthood. This raises questions about the impact of targeted initiatives for addressing disaffection with school and their value for preparing at-risk youth for the transition to adulthood.

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