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

BEYOND THE HYPE: A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF THE CHILDREN'S COMMISSIONER FOR WALES

O. Rees

Family Law, Oct. 2002, p. 748-751

Presents an overview of the statutory powers and work of the newly created Children's Commissioner for Wales. His powers and his child-centred approach give him the potential to improve children's rights and aspects of child protection procedures.

EDUCATION ACT 2002: SAFEGUARDING AND PROMOTING THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN

A. Fiddy

ChildRight, issue 189, 2002, p. 3

Places schools and local education authorities (LEAs) under a legal duty to promote the welfare of the pupils. They now have a statutory obligation to make child protection arrangements and to provide safeguards against abuse.

FATHERS FEAR CHILDCARE MARS CAREER

J. Carvel

The Guardian, October 21st 2002, p. 11

Most working fathers will not take time off because they think bosses discriminate against men showing any commitment to childcare, according to a report from the Work Foundation.

INITIATIVE TO MEND "BROKEN HEARTS" OF ENGLAND'S TEENAGERS FACES STRUGGLE

S. Gillen

Community Care, Sept. 19th-25th 2002, p. 20-21

Efforts of Connexions personal advisers to make contact with disaffected young people may be hampered by underinvestment in youth work generally. They can also expect difficulties in winning the trust and confidence of socially excluded youngsters and in keeping in contact with them.

MINISTER HID NEW AID COST TO PARENTS

D. Hencke

The Guardian, October 22nd 2002, p. 12

A government minister failed to release figures showing that single working mothers could lose an average of over £180 a year under a new child support maintenance system. Malcolm Wicks, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department of Work and Pensions, hid figures showing that some lone mothers were likely to lose 2% of their support. Mr Wicks claimed in a written Parliamentary answer that the government could not work out firm figures on losers and winners under a new assessment system.

NEW LABOUR, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND CHILDREN: POLITICAL CALCULATION AND THE DESERVING-UNDESERVING SCHISM

B. Goldson

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 32, 2002, p. 683-695

In spite of general economic prosperity, poverty and inequality are rife in Britain. Although New Labour has launched a raft of initiatives aimed at eradicating child poverty, it has pursued harshly punitive policies towards children in trouble with the law in the hope of currying favour with middle class voters.

OPPORTUNITY FOR CHILDCARE: THE IMPACT OF GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES IN ENGLAND UPON CHILDCARE PROVISION

S. Rahilly and E Johnston

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 36, 2002, p. 482-495

Paper considers impact of recent government initiatives upon childcare provision under the age of five. Based on interviews with parents and providers from two contrasting wards in Liverpool, the results suggest a fear that government policy may be failing to recognize the diversity of families, concentrating, as it does on supporting working parents.

OUT OF THE FRAME

B. Corly, M. Millar and A. Pope

Community Care, Sept. 12th-18th 2002, p. 40-41

Since April 2001 standardised assessments have been carried out for all children in need referred to social services. These assessments are of two kinds: initial, for straightforward needs and core, where the needs are more complex. Interviews with 34 sets of parents showed that the key to the success of the assessment process lay in the achievement of some kind o agreement between the assessor and the family on the nature of the problem.

PEERS REJECT GAYS RIGHT TO ADOPT

P. Wintour

Guardian, Oct. 17th 2002, p. 7

The House of Lords has rejected provisions in the Adoption and Children Bill that would have allowed gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. Downing Street has indicated that it will seek to reverse the defeat when the Bill returns to the Commons.

(See also Times, Oct. 17th 2002, p. 1; Independent, Oct 17th 2002, p. 1 & 8; Daily Telegraph, Oct 17th 2002, p. 1 + 12)

PUPILS URGED TO INFORM ON PROBLEM PARENTS

H. Hague

The Daily Telegraph, October 14th 2002, p. 1

Pupils are being encouraged to disclose sensitive information about their parents to the government to help discover why they might be failing at school. Details of problems such as drink and drug abuse, depression and domestic rows would be sought by advisers. The data are gathered, without parental consent, by the Connexions Service, which supplies careers and personal advisers to schools.

RIGHTS TO ACCESS: MEETING YOUNG PEOPLE'S NEEDS FOR ADVICE.

J. Kenrick

London: Youth Access, 2002

Report draws together existing evidence regarding young people's needs for advice, their advice-seeking behaviour, and barriers to access to services. It reviews the impact of government policy on young people's access to advice, and makes the case for a joined-up approach to the provision of services.

SAFETY IN NUMBERS?

D. Walker

Public Finance, Sept. 13th-19th 2002, p. 20-22

Following several high profile scandals, reform of the child protection system has become a national priority. The removal of responsibility for child protection from local councils to a national authority has been proposed. Argues that the hysteria is disproportionate. Child protection services in the UK are comparatively efficient and cost-effective, but are under-resourced.

SYSTEM STILL FAILING CHILDREN AT RISK

C. Dyer

The Guardian, October 14th 2002, p. 12

Children's safety is being compromised by a failure to give adequate resources to the services responsible for helping them, according to the first report covering all the services involved in child protection. The report was produced by the inspectorates for social services, police, probation, prisons, magistrates courts and the crown prosecution service, together with ofsted, the schools inspectorate, and the Commission for Health Improvement. The inspectorates' "greatest concerns" are that children's safety is being compromised by the low priority given to the issue; by inadequate area child protection committees; and by difficulties in recruiting and retaining child protection professionals.

TIME OUT FOR THE FAMILY

B. Tarleton

Community Care, Sept. 26th - Oct. 2nd 2002, p. 38-39

Reports on research that highlights the importance of short breaks for families of children with autism spectrum disorders.

TWIN-TRACK APPROACH

J. Tunstill

Community Care, Sept. 26th - Oct. 2nd 2002, p. 36

New Labour has focused on the improvement of mainstream, universal services for children such as health and education. Article argues that targeted services for those in need are also required.

UNSOCIAL SERVICES

D. Batty

The Guardian, Oct 15th 2002, p. 16

Recent child protection scandals have exposed how serious deficiencies in social work training have led to poor assessments of children at risk. The author concludes that social workers are badly qualified, poorly paid and too few in number. If the profession is to survive, it is likely to have to change radically.

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