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

BY PRIVATE ARRANGEMENT: INSPECTION OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUPERVISING CHILDREN IN PRIVATE FOSTER CARE

Social Services Inspectorate

London: DH Publications, 2002

Many children are privately fostered through informal arrangements which are not registered with the local authority. In some cases all contact between birth parents and their children is lost. Report expresses concern about the inappropriate placement of black children with white foster carers. Problems are compounded by the low priority given by local authority social workers to carers' assessments, statutory checks, and visits and reviews.

CARE PLANS REVISITED

L Arnot

Family Law Journal, no. 17, June 2002, p. 2-4

Discusses the impact of the Human Rights Act (HRA) on the legal position of children in local authority care and their parents. Courts have begun to use their discretion in respect of pre-HRA powers in a new way so as to avoid breaking the parties' Convention rights.

CHILDREN'S SERVICES FACE BREAKDOWN

Anon

Labour Research, July 2002, p. 12-14

Social Services spend £41m a week to support children in need and their families with English departments overspending by £218m in 2001/02. The main pressure on resources comes from a huge rise in numbers of children being taken into local authority care. At the same time social work vacancies are running at 15%. The combination of these factors means that case loads are too high for safety.

CHILDREN'S STRESS A GROWING PROBLEM

S Lomack

Daily Telegraph, July 1st 2002, p. 9

A survey for parentline plus, a national helpline, said that two thirds of parents are worried about their children's stress levels, with teenage girls the biggest cause of concern. The findings reinforce research that has found growing rates of depression and anxiety in children, with an estimated one in five experiencing some form of mental health problem.

CLINIC FOR CHILD ABUSERS FORCED TO CLOSE

A Travis

The Guardian, July 5th 2002, p. 9

Protest by local residents yesterday forced the closure of Europe's only clinic to provide residential treatment of child sex offenders. The Wolvercote Clinic, based at Horton Hospital, Epsom, Surrey, which opened in 1995 is to close on July 31 after seven years during which it has assessed 300 men.

A DUBIOUS POWER

K Bilton

Professional Social Work, July 2002, p. 9

Airs concerns over two potential new amendments to the Children Act 1989. These relate to:

  • giving local authorities powers to accommodate children without formally taking them into care
  • provisions for referring changes to care plans for children looked after by local authorities back to the courts.

THE FAMILY SUPPORT HANDBOOK

A Wheal and G Emson

Lyme Regis: Russell House Publishing, 2002

This book provides check lists, guidance sheets, notes, charts, diagrams and further reading on all aspects of family support and development.

FROM CHILDREN'S SERVICES TO CHILDREN'S SPACES

P Moss and P Petrie

London: Routledge Falmer, 2002-08-07

This book argues that how we understand children and make public provision for them involves both political and ethical choices. It discusses how different ways of thinking about children lead to different childhoods, different public provision (including schools) and different ways of working with children. The authors go on to consider alternative theories and ideas, and propose a new approach which they term 'children's spaces'.

INNOVATIONS IN PARENTING SUPPORT: AN EVALUATION OF THE YMCA's "PARENTING TEENAGERS" INITIATIVE

D Roker and H Richardson

Children and Society, vol. 16, 2002, p.143-153

This Initiative aimed to set up 30 different projects in YMCA centres in England to provide help and support to parents of teenagers. The projects included group-based courses, "Dads and Lads" projects, mediation schemes, and computing courses. Paper describes the evaluation of this Initiative.

MEASURING CHILD POVERTY: A CONSULTATION DOCUMENT

Department for Work and Pensions

Hayes: 2002

Proposes options for the measurement of child poverty. These are:

  • multidimensional headline indicators, drawn from the "Opportunity for All" indicators;
  • a child poverty index combining the headline indicators to produce a single figure;
  • a core set of indicators of low income and consistent poverty;
  • a headline measure of consistent poverty, combining low income and material deprivation.

PROVIDING EFFECTIVE ADOPTION SUPPORT

Department of Health

London: 2002

Document aims to address the varying quality of adoption services from area to area. The consultation will form the basis for new regulations on adoption support to be introduced in April 2003 under the Adoption and Children Bill.

REPORT ON INQUIRY INTO THE NEED FOR A CHILDREN'S COMMISSIONER IN SCOTLAND

Education, Culture and Sport Committee, Scottish Parliament

[Edinburgh] : 2002 (SP paper, session 1 2002; 508)

Report supports proposals for a Children's Commissioner in Scotland.

THE STATE OF CHILDREN'S RIGHTS IN 2002

C Willow

ChildRight, issue 187, 2002, p. 7-8

Presents a report on UK progress in implementing children's human rights as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989. Covers issues of poverty, youth justice, physical abuse, asylum-seeking children, children in care and children with disabilities.

SCRAMBLED MESSAGE

M Hunter

Community Care, June 27th-July 3rd 2002, p. 30-31

Discusses how information technology could facilitate communication between health and social care professionals and the police in the field of child protection. "Virtual teams" could be set up using computer systems to link different professionals and enable them to share knowledge.

UNIVERSAL CHILDREN'S CENTRES COULD BE A LABOUR BEACON

P Toynbee

The Guardian, July 3rd 2002, p. 16

The lack of childcare facilities throughout the country is keeping the gender gap wide and women at all levels in low paid work. This article looks at the government's current position on the issues and presents this as a chance to launch a great social programmme.

VISITING POWERS

N Valios

Community Care, June 20th-26th 2002, p. 28-29

Discusses the role of health visitors in child protection.

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