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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2002): Child Welfare - UK

A BLACK AND WHITE ISSUE?

B. Davies

Young People Now, no. 153, 2002, p. 28-29

Article examines what the Connexions service can learn from the continuing struggle to establish youth work provision that meets the needs of young black people. In practice this has meant a move away from integration and towards separate provision for young black people.

BUILDING A STRATEGY FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Children and Young People's Unit

London: 2001

Sets out a nine point series of aspirations for children and young people. All should have:

  • the opportunity to grow up in a loving environment;
  • real opportunities to achieve their potential;
  • opportunities to experience the benefits of living in a multi-cultural society;
  • the prospect of living in a safe and secure environment;
  • the chance to contribute to local community;
  • support in transitions from birth to adulthood;
  • excellent joined up services;
  • opportunities to enjoy sport, music, art, etc;
  • freedom from poverty and exclusion.

CHILDREN'S SERVICES IN DISARRAY

C. Doorly

Community Care, Jan. 10th - 16th 2002, p. 38-40

Attributes the current malaise in local authority children's services to:

  • underfunding;
  • prevalence of defensive practice;
  • emphasis on process rather than outcomes;
  • creation of a command and control culture.

As well as provision of more resources and a relaxation of central government control, services could be improved by the promotion of multidisciplinary working, better skill mix and training, and an end to the blame culture.

THE GENDER AGENDA

B. Davies

Young People Now, no. 154, 2002, p. 28-29

Gender issues are notably absent from the thinking of the new Connexions service. Article discusses the history of dedicated youth work with boys and girls from the nineteenth century. Suggests, on the basis of past experience, that young men and women cannot be adequately catered for if their needs are seen as being identical.

HIGH RISK OF BABY DEATHS AMONG TEENAGE MOTHERS

L. Ward

The Guardian, Jan. 22nd 2002, p. 2

The government is to step up efforts to tackle teenage pregnancies amid evidence that babies born to teenage mothers are 60% more likely to die in their first year. An analysis by the Department of Health, commissioned by the public health minister, has revealed that halving the number of teenage pregnancies could result in at least 100 fewer deaths of babies a year.

IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH

N. Valios

Community Care, Dec. 6th - 12th 2001, p. 32-33

The government aims to increase local authority adoptions by 40% by 2005. Article discusses whether this will mean agencies accepting adopters whom they would previously have rejected, such as people with health problems or mental illnesses.

KITH AND KIN: KINSHIP CARE FOR VULNERABLE YOUNG PEOPLE

B. Broad, R. Hayes and C. Rushforth

London: National Children's Bureau, 2001

Research explored the experiences and views of young people in kinship care in Wandsworth. The young people were overwhelmingly positive about being in kinship care. Placements appeared to be more stable and long term than many of the alternatives. Kinship carers were also passionately in favour of kinship care, but around half were struggling to cope with difficult behaviour on the part of the young person. There were also problems with money, loss of freedom and overcrowding. Carers wanted more financial and social work support.

REACHING FOR THE HIGH LANDS

N. Valios

Community Care, Jan. 10th -16th 2002, p. 32-33

The Scottish Executive is supporting plans for the integration of all children's services in an effort to reduce child poverty. Under the plans, agencies working with children should:

  • consider children's services as a single integrated system;
  • establish a joint children's service plan;
  • ensure inclusive access to universal services;
  • co-ordinate needs assessment and intervention;
  • target services.

A SENSE OF PROPORTION

K. Ford

Young People Now, no. 153, 2002, p. 22-23

Article explains how the principles of proportional engagement can be applied to promoting successful partnership working for the youth service.

TACKLING CHILD POVERTY: GIVING EVERY CHILD THE BEST POSSIBLE START IN LIFE: A PRE-BUDGET REPORT DOCUMENT

Treasury

London: 2001

Document sets out the government's approach to tackling child poverty, with four key strands:

  • providing more support for family finance;
  • giving priority to children's services, especially health and education;
  • offering support to parenting for life;
  • pursuing a partnership with the voluntary and community sectors.

UNMARRIED COUPLES WILL BE GIVEN RIGHT TO ADOPT CHILDREN

M. White and C. Blackstock

Guardian, Jan. 23rd 2002, p. 1

It is thought that an all-party amendment to the Adoption and Children Bill, allowing unmarried couples to adopt children is unlikely to be opposed by the government. Under the terms of the amendment, potential adopters would have to be 21 or over, be living in a stable relationship, and be able to show that they have put in place plans for provision for the child if their relationship breaks down.

(See also Independent, Jan. 23rd 2002, p.1)

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