Guardian, Apr. 17th 2000, p. 4
Directors of Social Services plan to strengthen adoption services and increase investment in them. Measures will include moving towards a targeted strategy for recruiting adoptive parents; improving support for new adoptive parents; and making adoption allowances more available. Details of children available for adoption, and of families ready to adopt, will be shared on regional and national basis.
Independent, May 19th 2000, p. 11
The government acknowledged that the drive to provide nursery places for all four-year-olds had adversely affected pre-school playgroups. Announced a £250,000 programme to expand pre-school playgroups to cater for three-year-olds plus a £500, 000 package to help the 3500 playgroups threatened with closure.
Guardian, May 15th 2000, p. 7
Report government plans to lift a further 1 million children out of poverty by 2010 through an expansion of the Sure Start programme and the creation of regional children's funds to finance local community projects.
(See also Financial Times, May 16th 2000, p. 6)
ChildRight, no. 165, 2000, p. 3-4
Summarises the provisions of the March 2000 budget that will impact on children and young people, and that are intended to drive forward the campaign to eradicate child poverty in a generation. Measures include increased support through the benefits system and investment in education.
ChildRight, no. 165, 2000, p. 7-9
Summarises UK government initiatives aimed at preventing the abuse of children in care. These include Quality Protects, measures to filter out unsuitable applicants for child care positions, measures to improve the status and training of care workers, and institution of transparent complaints procedures.
Guardian, Apr. 11th 2000, p. 4
Reports results of research showing that children of poorly educated parents will fall behind in later life. Higher state benefits for poor families will not break the cycle of deprivation. These findings will be used as ammunition to secure extra resources for Sure Start the new programme designed to give help to poor parents with pre-school children.
Independent, Apr. 13th 2000, p. 9
The parliamentary all-party group on adoption are proposing that hit squads should be sent in to speed up adoptions if councils with low success rates fail to improve. The group has decided to name and shame the councils placing the lowest number of children in care with adoptive families.
Daily Telegraph, Apr. 26th 2000, p. 12
Proposals under discussion for the reform of adoption procedures include 1) a national register to co-ordinate adoptions; 2) greater consistency in the criteria used to approve potential adoptive parents; a relaxation of restrictions on older couples adopting; and time limits for finding families for children in care homes who have been declared available for adoption.
(See also Guardian, Apr. 26th 2000, p. 14)
ChildRight, no. 165, 2000, p. 10-11
Proposes the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a yardstick against which governments and agencies should measure the actions and efforts in respect to the marginalisation of children.
Community Care, No. 1319, 2000, p. 2-3
Following an adoption summit at Downing Street new adoption legislation could soon be introduced. Discussions also centered on the removal of restrictions on would be adopters and a national recruitment campaign; the importance of planning and reviews for all looked after children; post-adoption support; and allowances.
G. Craig et al
Children and Society, vol. 14, 2000, p. 85
Between 1995 and 1998 most British local government was reorganised leading to the creation of new, smaller, local authorities. Article explores the consequences of reorganisation for children's services provided by the voluntary sector in England, Scotland and Wales. Results show that the fragmentation of local authorities and funding problems arising from loss of economies of scale have been damaging for voluntary projects and their users in the short-term.
F. Rickford and A. Thompson
Community Care, no. 1316, 2000, p. 20-23
Reports generally positive views of professionals working in children's services on the Quality Protects Initiative at the end of its first year.
London: Calouste Gulbenhain Foundation
Handbook describes in detail the proposal for an independent Children's Rights Commissioner to promote and protect the human rights of children. Sets out the case for, and the functions of, a Commissioner, and considers the arguments for a separate institution for children or a Commissioner integrated within a human rights commission. It includes a draft bill and details of similar offices established in other countries.
Community Care, no. 1317, 2000, p. 26-27
Government policy since the Children Act 1989 has emphasised partnership with parents and favoured family support services. This has led to a reluctance among social workers to take hard decisions about removing children at risk of violence or extreme neglect from their parents. What is needed is a seamless service between child protection and family support that could be the "third way" for developing children and family services.
Community Care, no. 1319, 2000, p. 4
The Welsh children's commissioner's duties are being extended to take in domiciliary services for disabled children, the social care elements of day care services for children under eight, and adoption agencies and services.
Community Care, no. 1318, 2000, p. 10-11
The poor record of some councils in placing children in care with adoptive families is due to: 1) unwillingness of families to take on disturbed older children; 2) cost of recruitment of adoptive families; and 3) 'politically correct' attitudes to adoption among social workers. The idea of a national register of approved adoptive parents to break the log jam is gaining currency.