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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2001): Child Welfare - UK

£450M TO HELP YOUNG AVOID LIVES OF CRIME

J. Sherman

Times, Nov. 15th 2000, p. 8

Announces launch of the £450m Children's Fund. Local authorities can apply for grants from the fund to set up joint schemes with the voluntary sector to help young people in danger of drifting into a life of crime or drug abuse. Local groups may offer counselling, after-school activities, summer schools and parental education.

(See also Guardian, Nov. 16th 2000, p. 13; Times, Nov. 16th 2000, p. 13)

BACK DOOR ADOPTION?

A. Thompson

Community Care, no. 1348, 2000, p. 24

Explores the advantages and disadvantages of regarding long term foster care as a possible route to adoption.

CONNEXIONS PARTNERSHIPS MOVE FORWARD

D. Boyer

Working Brief, issue no. 119, 2000, p. 14-16

Outlines the detailed planning guidance issued by the Department for Education and Employment to the Connexions Partnerships due to launch their services in April 2001. Each partnership must deliver a three year business plan, a one year delivery plan, a transition plan and a Young People's Charter. There is strong emphasis on the engagement of young people themselves in the design and delivery of the service.

HELPING PARENTS, PROTECTING CHILDREN: IDEAS FROM GERMANY

K. Baistow and G. Wilford

Children and Society, vol. 14, 2000, p. 343-354

Article compares the use of child welfare and child protection services in Germany with those in England. Points particularly to the drawbacks of the system in England which formally separates children at risk and in need from other children, and suggests there is much we could learn from the more comprehensive system of prevention - focused support available as of right to families in Germany.

HOME-START AND THE DELIVERY OF FAMILY SUPPORT

N. Frost et al

Children and Society, vol. 14, 2000, p. 328-342

Article presents some of the findings of a three-year study of a voluntary organisation, Home Start, which offers support to mothers with children under five through volunteer home visiting. Makes connections between the activities of Home Start and the wider debate about family support in the UK.

INTER-PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATION AND CONCEPTUALISATIONS OF PRACTICE

P. Eason, M. Atkins and A. Dyson

Children and Society, vol. 14, 2000, p. 355-367

Study traced the inter-professional collaborative experiences of professionals involved in two of the worst estates identified by the Social Exclusion Unit. It identified those collaborations perceived by them to be effective, and pieced together the factors which appeared to enhance or inhibit that effectiveness. In particular, investigated the possibility that collaboration is difficult to achieve not just for practical reasons but because different professional groups may conceptualise their practice in quite different ways.

LADDERS TO THE GOOD LIFE

P. Toynbee

Guardian, Nov. 17th 2000, p. 25

Public spending on programmes to eradicate child poverty is not popular. Argues that a vociferous pressure group is needed to lobby for more spending on child welfare targeted on low-income groups and less on popular causes such as rises in the state pension and improved health care for the general population.

MAKING CONNEXIONS

A. Weinstock

Young People Now, no. 140, 2000, p. 20-21

The Chief Executive of the Connexions Service explains how plans are progressing for the national launch of the new support service for young people focusing especially on the role of the personal advisers.

OUR CHILDREN, THEIR FUTURE

Barnardo's et al

London: 2000

Calls for coherent policies to end child poverty and ensure that all children are protected and nurtured. Additionally calls for recognition of the role of parents, more child friendly communities and fuller participation of children and young people in decision-making.

OUTSIDE EDUCATION AND WORK: DO THE NUMBERS ADD UP?

P. Bivand

Working Brief, issue 119, 2000, p. 12-13

Explains difficulties involved in getting reliable statistics of the number of young people not in employment, training or education.

RESEARCHING YOUNG PEOPLE OUTSIDE WORK AND EDUCATION

L. Britton

Working Brief, issue 119, 2000, p. 10-11

Summarises findings of research projects on young people not in employment, education or training. Results show that such young people frequently come from dysfunctional families, have special educational needs or behavioural problems, or come from ethnic minority groups. Decline in local industry may also be responsible for some of this problem, which tends to be concentrated in areas which experience high levels of crime and apathy among young people.

RESPONSE TO THE PRIME MINISTER'S REVIEW OF ADOPTION

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Adoption

London: 2000

Criticises the Prime Minister's plans to reform the adoption system as "technocratic" and "unimaginative". Expresses concern about the competence of local authorities to run adoption services and suggests more voluntary sector involvement. Calls for an independent appeals procedure for applicants refused the right to adopt by a local authority.

RIGHT ON TARGET

B. Millar

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, Nov. 30th 2000, p. 16-17

Describes the Starting Well project in Glasgow which is designed to offer intensive support to 1800 families in deprived areas over three years. The project is staffed by a combination of health visitors and lay workers with childcare experience.

SCHOOLCHILDREN WILL GET FREE FRUIT TO IMPROVE DIETS

J. Laurence

Independent, Nov. 17th 2000, p. 10

Announces launch of the national fresh fruit scheme under which every four to six-year-old will be entitled to a piece of fresh fruit every school day.

(See also Times, Nov. 17th 2000, p. 8; Guardian, Nov. 17th 2000, p. 13)

SCHOOL'S OUT: KIDS CLUB'S OPEN

M. Jones

New Review of the Low Pay Unit, no. 65, 2000, p. 11-13

Calls for continued expansion of out-of-school childcare places. There is evidence of a demand for out-of-school provision for 25% of four to 14-year-olds, but there are currently places available for only 10% of this age group.

SLOWLY BUT SURELY

C. Bidmead

Community Practitioner, vol. 73, 2000, p. 859-860

Article looks at progress in eight Sure Start pilot schemes and the role of health visitors in them in supporting parents in deprived areas.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE

A. Thompson

Community Care, no. 1347, 2000, p. 20-21

Argues that any imposition of national performance indicators on adoption services would introduce perverse incentives into the system that could lead to rushed and unsuitable placements. Imposition of standard national time-scales would have a similar effect.