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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2000): Child Welfare - UK

ANTI-POVERTY PLANS LACK WORKERS' INPUT

L. Green

Community Care, no. 1329, 2000, p. 10-11

Article calls for social workers to be included in the government's battle to eradicate child poverty within 10 years.

CONNEXIONS: THE IMPLICATIONS FOR LEAs WORK WITH YOUNG PEOPLE

T. Wylie

London: The Education Network, 2000

Pamphlet describes the Government's Connexions Strategy, and its proposals for the Connexions Service and looks at their implications for Local Education Authorities and young people. It makes a number of suggestions about the action LEAs should take, and the leadership they could exercise in shaping the service and ensuring it is aligned to the needs of young people.

CONNEXIONS: THE IMPLICATIONS FOR VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS' WORK WITH YOUNG PEOPLE

A. Lawton and T. Wylie

Leicester: National Youth Agency, 2000

Pamphlet describes the government's Connexions Strategy and its proposals for the Connexion Strategy and its proposals for the Connexions Service, and looks at their implications. It makes a number of suggestions about action to shape the service and ensure it is aligned to the needs of young people.

HOME OR AWAY? SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE AND FAMILIES

N. Bichal, J. Clayden and S. Byford

London: National Children's Bureau, 2000

Study evaluates the work of an adolescent support team, covering its work to prevent young people being taken into care, and its work with homeless 16- and 17-year-olds. The study found that the team's short-term, task centred model of service led to positive change in families without long-standing and severe problems. The team's model was less successful in work with families where problems were chronic and severe. The team was effective in supporting homeless 16- and 17-year-olds, but its work was hampered by a lack of a clear multi-agency policy on youth homelessness and a lack of appropriate accommodation.

IN PURSUIT OF THE RIGHT BALANCE: AN ACTION PLAN TO IMPROVE ADOPTION SERVICES

F. Collier

ChildRight, no. 166, 2000, p. 15-17

Presents and summarizes an a British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) plan to improve adoption services. The main points of the plan were: a new Adoption Act for England and Wales; 2) ring fenced funding for inter-agency fees and to assist recruitment; 3) approved adopters to be a national resource: 4) performance indicators; 5) national standards for adoption services to ensure consistency; 6) paid adoption leave for all adoptive parents; 7) adoption allowances to be nationally available at the same rates; 8) an entitlement to support services after adoption; and 9) active planning for all children in care, including consideration of adoption at all child care reviews.

INTO BATTLE FOR ADOPTION

P. Thompson

Community Care, no. 1323, 2000, p. 26-27

Explains how Sheffield Social Services have used initiatives such as Best Value and Quality Protects to reform and revitalise their adoption services.

JOINING UP GOVERNMENT: REPORT ON SERVICES FOR DISAFFECTED YOUNG PEOPLE

Anon.

ChildRight, no. 166, 2000, p. 3-5

Summary and discussion of a major new report from the Social Exclusion Unit, "Young People", which considers youth disaffection and the most effective ways of preventing it. Report concludes that the government's approach to the problem is insufficiently "joined up" and is still too oriented towards crisis intervention. Calls for a coherent youth policy, established at national level, reflected in departmental policies, championed by a Ministerial Group for Young People and nominated youth ministers and supported and informed by the work of a dedicated Youth Unit.

THE 'LEO EFFECT' MAY SPUR RADICAL CHANGE IN CHILDCARE

P. Toynbee

Guardian, May 24th 2000, p. 22

Argues that lack of affordable childcare is preventing many mothers from working. Families can claim a maximum of £70.00 a week through Childcare Tax Credit, when most care costs £130-160 a week. There is also a lack of nurseries and childminders in deprived areas.

MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE

G. Clarke

Young People Now, issue 134, 2000, p. 22-23

The YMCA has welcomed the governments new Connexions service which will focus on helping disaffected young people through a network of personal advisers. However, there is concern that it may divert resources from preventive youth work programmes that cater for the majority.

OVERCOMING THE OBSTACLES: LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN: QUALITY SERVICES FOR BLACK AND MINORITY ETHNIC CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES

A. Richards and L. Ince

Family Rights Group, 2000

A survey of 157 local authorities found services for black children to be variable in quality. Poor practice was usually the result of no comprehensive equal opportunities policy, no ethnic monitoring or record-keeping, no placement policies for black children and no recruitment programmes for black foster parents. Many authorities had little overview and consistency in provision and left individual staff to develop ad hoc approaches to black children. They also lacked a successful strategy for recruiting black workers and failed to engage with black community groups. Few authorities had services accessible to black families, even failing to offer translated documents and trained interpreters. The day-to-day need of black children in cross-cultural placements, residential units and preparing for independent living were seldom addressed, and alternatives to care were not explored.

PRE-SCHOOL CARE CRISIS AS CHILDMINDERS DESERT

C. Norton

Independent, June 16th 2000, p. 12

Childminders fed up with onerous registration and inspection regimes are leaving the profession in droves, precipitating a crisis in the provision of care for pre-school children. In order to encourage new recruits, government will offer women grants of between £50.00 and £600.00 to help with start up costs.

THINK LOCAL, GORDON

B. Holman

Community Care, no. 1327, 2000, p. 22

Argues that local neighbourhood projects, rather than national childcare, charities, should win priority status for funding from the new national network of Children's Funds.

UNDER SCRUTINY

T. Burke

Young People Now, issue 134, 2000, p. 20-21

Local authority youth services have been subjected to increasingly critical reports by Ofsted inspectors. Problems arise at least partly from the absence of a coherent national policy framework.

YOUTH, PARENTING AND PUBLIC POLICY

G. Jones and R. Bell

York: York Publishing Services, 2000

A comprehensive review of UK legislation examined the implications of policy for economic and social dependence in youth, and then looked for equivalent legal provisions defining parental responsibility. Found that responsibility for young people has shifted from the state to the family as state support has been eroded. Policies in one area of legislation sometimes conflict with those in another, so that young people and their parents can receive confused messages about what is expected of them. Young people can be treated as dependent children and independent adults at the same time. Policies that imply that young people are dependent in some way are not balanced by policies that define the parental responsibility for that dependency. This puts many young people at risk.

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