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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2011): Child welfare - UK

Anti-discriminatory practice: a guide for those working with children and young people. 3rd ed.

R. Millam

London: Continuum, 2011

This book provides a comprehensive guide to promoting inclusive practice in childcare and educational settings, and to taking account of children's cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds. For those who work in childcare and educational settings, there is an ethical and legal responsibility to promote inclusive practice and to take into account children's backgrounds. Now in its third edition, this book has been restructured to ensure that the information is as accessible as possible for those training and working in childcare and education. As well as including recent research and current best practice, it is fully updated to take account of the impact of recent legislation and resulting legal requirements. Practical suggestions on how to achieve and develop inclusive practice are provided, along with activities to encourage practitioners to examine and reflect upon their own attitudes towards anti-discriminatory practice. Topics covered include: race, religion and culture; major religions beliefs; the role of play and development; and identity and self-esteem.

Councils begin to reshape director roles

L. Higgs

Children and Young People Now, Apr. 5th-18th 2011, p. 8-9

Director of children's services posts are being dropped or reformulated as councils restructure services to cut costs and increase efficiency. Hillingdon, Stockport and Solihull are among councils that are dropping the post of director of children's services in favour of new directors of people or joint directors of children's and adult social care.

Councils pilot payment-by-results

N. Puffett

Children and Young People Now, Apr. 5th-18th 2011, p. 14-15

A six month pilot project is under way in three large local authorities to assess how payment-by-results models can be successfully adopted by children's services. Social Finance, an ethical investment bank, is working alongside Essex County Council, Liverpool Council and Manchester Council to investigate the potential for Social Impact Bonds, a form of payment-by-results, to fund services targeted on vulnerable children and their families.

Critics slam poverty strategy for breach of law

N. Puffett

Children and Young People Now, Apr. 19th- May 3rd 2011, p. 14-15

Campaigners are threatening to take legal action against the government after claims the its child poverty strategy breaches the Child Poverty Act 2010 because it fails to consider social inclusion and establish targets as the legislation requires.

Cuts will halt fall in child poverty, says thinktank

L. Elliott

The Guardian, May 13th 2011, p. 8

One off Britain's leading thinktanks, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, warned that 300,000 children would be pushed below the poverty line in the next three years as the government's spending cuts reverse the progress made during Labour's last years in power.

Labour's 100,000 per child but poverty gap grew

R. Prince

Daily Telegraph, May 13th 2011, p. 6

Between 2004 and 2009, the Labour government spent 150bn of public money on benefits intended to help disadvantaged families. However child poverty fell by only 4% over that period, leaving 2.8m youngsters in poverty. Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary under the coalition government, commented that spending on complicated welfare benefits did little to raise living standards.

Milliband warns of pressure on next generation

N. Watt

The Guardian, May 23rd 2011, p. 8

Shrinking wages and higher debts will force today's children to wait until their 40s before they can afford their first property, the Labour Leader Ed Milliband has warned in a speech at the Royal Festival Hall, London. The speech comes as The Resolution Foundation says changes to childcare support mean that parents will take home only 17p for every extra pound they earn if they work more than seven hours a week.

A new approach to child poverty: tackling the causes of disadvantage and transforming families' lives

Department for Work and Pensions and Department for Education

London: TSO, 2011 (Cm 8061)

This paper sets out the Government's approach to tackling poverty for this Parliament and up to 2020. This approach involves strengthening families, encouraging responsibility, promoting work, guaranteeing fairness and providing support to the most vulnerable. This strategy meets the requirements set out in the Child Poverty Act 2010, focuses on improving the life chances of the most disadvantaged children, and sits alongside the Government's broader strategy to improve social mobility. The core ways to achieve this are:

  • A stronger focus on ensuring that families who are in work are supported to work themselves out of poverty, families who are unable to work are able to live with dignity and not entrenched in persistent poverty, and that those who can work but are not in work are provided with services that will address their particular needs and help them overcome barriers to work.
  • A stronger focus on improving children's future life chances, by intervening early to improve the development and attainment of disadvantaged children and young people throughout their transition to adulthood.
  • A stronger focus on place and delivering services as close to the family as possible, by empowering local partners and ensuring that local diversity can be recognised, and developing strong local accountability frameworks.

NHS is letting down vulnerable children, says minister

J. Shepherd

The Guardian, May 24th 2011, p. 14

The children and families minister Sarah Teather has attacked the health service for failing some of the country's most vulnerable children, saying the chance of a child receiving much-needed speech and language therapy was between 'low and nil' while the wait for a wheelchair could be 'really long'.

Parental rights and responsibilities: analysing social policy and lived experiences

H. Churchill

Bristol: Policy Press, 2011

This timely book examines parental rights to 'welfare state support' and parental responsibilities for child welfare in relation to recent social policy agendas pursued by the Labour government in the UK in the context of child well-being research, state welfare analysis and sociological research about parental perspectives and the multiple contexts of parenting and childhood. It calls for notions of parental rights and responsibilities which are more responsive to the diversity of parental perspectives and parenting contexts.

Rethinking children and families: the relationship between childhood, families and the state

N. Frost

London: Continuum, 2011

This book considers the way we approach the complex relationship between childhood, families and the state, and explores the contested nature of the terms 'childhood', 'family' and 'state'. Theoretical and practice-based perspectives are discussed within the context of recent key developments. Examples of research, reflections on research and key points and guidance on further reading make this a really accessible text. Is childhood changing? What effects are new ideas about childhood having on children's lives? How are children's voices and opinions affecting the services they use? Contemporary debates on the nature of childhood, attitudes towards children, the experiences of children and the emergence of a child rights agenda are resulting in a re-examination of theory, practice and research in many fields.

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