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

ADOPTION AND CHILDREN BILL 2001: DON'T LET THEM OUT OF YOUR SIGHT

C Barton

Family Law, vol.31, 2001, p.411-484.

The Bill would apply the welfare principle to the dispensing of parental consent to adoption and oblige officialdom to put up many children looked after by local authorities for adoption. It would also increase the number of non-marital fathers and step-parents with parental responsibility and effectively revive the concept of custodianship under the guise of special guardianship. Article presents a critique of these proposals.

AFTER CARE

J Harris

Family Law Journal, June 2001, p.7-9.

The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 requires that the local authority carry out an assessment of each child's needs and develop a pathway plan. It must also arrange for each child to have a personal adviser and provide financial support covering accommodation costs, food and domestic bills, pocket money, and costs associated with education and training.

THE BRINGING UP BABY BLUES

F Rickford

Community Care, no.1377, 2001, p.20-21.

Childminding is facing major reform with the introduction of a new set of national minimum standards and transfer of responsibility for registration and inspection to Ofsted. However some of the changes are controversial and many argue that they are not in the interests of the children or the minders.

CHILD DAY CARE PROVISION: EXPLAINING LOCAL VARIATION

V Randall and K Fisher

Children and Society, vol.15, 2001, p.170-180.

Drawing on a combination of qualitative and quantitative data, study seeks to account for the variation in the amount and forms of child care provision amongst British local authorities. Relevant local factors influencing provision included:

  • the historical legacy;
  • level of social deprivation;
  • women's economic activity;
  • party politics.
Results showed that local authority provision increased in deprived areas, but levels of private provision fell. A strong positive association between Labour Party majorities and local authority child care provision was present in the 1970s but eroded in the 1990s.

HELP IS AT HAND

F Rickford

Community Care, no.1380, 2001, p.18-19.

Discusses the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 which is due to come into force on 1st October 2001. It looks at the pressing challenges it will bring to local authorities and what is expected of them.

JUDGES TAKE A FIRMER GRIP ON CARE PLANS

A Dobson

Community Care, no.1376, 2001, p.12.

A recent Appeal Court judgement could mean that councils must implement care plans made when a care order is obtained. Social workers will in future have to alert the court if planned developments do not materialise.

OUTSIDE CHANCE

S Wellard

Community Care, no.1378, 2001, p.22.

Discusses possible reasons why the Department of Health has selected the small Jewish charity Norwood Ravenswood as the preferred bidder for the national adoption register.

PLAY YOUR CARD RIGHT

M Boland

Young People Now, Issue 146, 2001, p.17.

Describes progress in the development of the Connexions Card initiative. The card will be available to young people in education or training. It will enable the cardholder to register points for attendance, participation and achievements that can be exchanged for a range of local goods and services. It will also entitle the cardholder to discounts on buses, trains, books and equipment.

THE ROLE OF THE PRIVATE MARKET IN DAY-CARE PROVISION FOR CHILDREN IN NEED

J Dillon, J Statham and P Moss

Social Policy and Administration, vol.35, 2001, p.127-144.

Article explores the role of the private day-care market in relation to the services offered by 12 local authorities. It explores the need to ensure that private day carers receive adequate levels of training and support and that they are providing a good quality service. It examines three models of sponsored childminding used by local authorities:

  • the use of any registered childminder;
  • the use of a pool of approved or selected childminders;
  • use of specialist childminders who are paid a retainer.

It goes on to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each model.

"SIMPLIFIED" CHILD SUPPORT: COUNTDOWN BEGINS

K Puttick

Family Law Journal, June 2001, p.10-13.

Describes the implementation of the new simplified scheme for child maintenance by non-resident parents.

TOMORROW'S FUTURE: BUILDING A STRATEGY FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Children and Young People's Unit

London: 2001

Sets out progress made in the Labour government's first term to develop services for children and young people. Goes on to discuss how the newly launched Children and Young People's Unit will:

  • develop mechanisms for listening to young people;
  • develop preventative services;
  • spread good practice.

UK REVIEW OF EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT STRUCTURES FOR CHILDREN 2001

R Hodgkin and P Newell (eds.)

London: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 2001

Review looks at progress in developing a children's perspective in government across the UK from 1996 to 2001. In England, the government announced a raft of new structures in 2000, including a Cabinet Committee, a Minister for Young People and a cross-cutting Children and Young People's Unit. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales there have been a variety of developments and commitments for children in the new context of devolution.