Family Law Journal, Dec. 2002/Jan. 2003, p. 5-9
"A-day" is the date on which the new Child Support Agency (CSA) formula will begin to apply for new cases. The new regime for child support offers more effective enforcement and a simpler formula. Article suggests eight strategies to protect clients with existing CSA claims pending the introduction of the new scheme.
Community Care, Jan 23rd-29th 2003, p. 34-35
As more older children with complex needs are adopted the need for greater post-adoption support is being recognised. However adoptive parents can be reluctant to use support services due to stigma, and fear of losing their children. Article points to the need for more respite care, and better post-adoption training.
ChildRight, no. 192, 2002, p. 3
Article briefly summarises the provisions of the Adoption and Children Act, which received royal assent on 7th Nov. 2002. The Act aims to put the needs of children first in the search for a family, to speed up the adoption process, and to ensure that the adoption service is fairer and more efficient.
The Independent, January 7th 2003, p. 6
A social services leader warned the Government that plans to set up a national service to combat child abuse might backfire. David Behan, president of the Association of Directors of Social Services, warned that a new national body could create "another boundary" that police, social services and health workers would have to confront.
Department of Health
London: TSO, 2002
These standards are to be used by the National Care Standards Commission in the inspection of residential children's homes. They cover:
The Daily Telegraph, January 23rd 2003, p. 6
The government has ruled out the creation of a national child protection agency as a solution to the weakness in the care system highlighted by the Victoria Climbié inquiry. Lord Laming's report stresses that child protection must not be separated from investigations and claims that such an agency would be counterproductive.
ChildRight, no. 192, p. 6-7
Connexions is the governments new advice, guidance and personal development service for 13 to 19-year-olds. Article explains the role of the personal adviser, how connexions relates to schools and colleges, and referral processes
Edinburgh: TSO, 2002
Review found an extensive range of services offering practical help, information, parenting education, advice and emotional support to parents in difficulty in each local authority and health board area. Family centres and services were found to be very successful at helping both parents and children improve their skills. However the review highlighted areas of weakness in service delivery including frontline staff who appeared unhelpful, and access difficulties for families. Report emphasises that early intervention can prevent long term problems, that health, social care, education and the voluntary sector should work together to offer integrated services, and that the role of the extended family in resolving problems should be valued.
ChildRight, no. 192, 2002, p. 19-20
The office of Children's Rights Commissioner for London (CRCL) was established in 2000 as a non-statutory time-limited project to help demonstrate the benefits of a permanent statutory children's rights commissioner for England. Article outlines some of the work of the CRCL to date, makes a provisional assessment of its impact and identifies pointers for how the work of the CRCL might best be taken forward.
ChildRight, no. 192, 2002, p. 10-11
Research evidence suggests that in many cases children who come to the attention of social services and who can no longer live with their birth parent(s) would prefer to be placed with members of their extended family. However kinship care as a placement choice needs to be considered more consistently by social services departments. Research also indicates that kinship carers need more financial and social services support.
Community Care, Jan 9th-15th 2003, p. 34-36
Presents proposals for the reform of the child protection system in the UK. Calls for more support for parents who are struggling, multidisciplinary specialist child protection teams to back up mainstream social workers, and improved training for social workers in child protection.
The Independent, January 6th 2003, p.1
A national child protection service might be set up by the Government to halt the abuse scandals that have exposed failures in the system. The plan would downgrade the role of social services departments and hand over potential abuse cases to a new national body. The idea would be opposed by social services chiefs.
Department of Health
Advocacy safeguards children and young people in care and protects them from abuse and poor practice. Standards are intended to provide a framework to plan, develop and review advocacy practice at all levels. They lay down that advocacy services should champion the rights of children and work exclusively in their interests. Services should be well publicised and accessible and should respond quickly when requested. There should be an effective complaints procedure and confidentiality should be respected.
European Journal of Social Work, vol. 5, 2002, p301-312
In 2000 the Department of Health published new guidance on assessment of children in need. The guidance emphasised the connection between child poverty and developmental delay, and overturned the narrow focus on child rescue which had previously dominated local authority practice. In addition it underscored the need for an ecological approach to assessment that placed the child's welfare within the context of family and wider social networks. However this ecological perspective fails to explain the structural inequalities and power differentials that pervade modern society. Without this understanding social workers will be ill-equipped to tackle environmental factors that impact adversely on a child's development.
K. Guha and M. Brun-Rovet
Financial Times, January 29th 2003, p. 4
In response to the Laming report into the death of Victoria Climbié, health, education and social services for children could be merged into new not-for-profit community trusts under proposals set out by Alan Milburn. However Lord Laming did not echo the call for institutional restructuring. Instead, he called for a minister to be responsible for children's affairs bringing together different services. Lamming also dismissed the idea of a National Child Protection Agency and a national children's database because of potential conflict between data protection and child welfare.
(See also The Guardian, January 29th 2003, p. 9)
J. Brannen and P. Moss (eds)
Buckingham: Open University Press, 2003
Looking at care from the perspectives of children, parents and care workers, this book provides discussion on economic, social and political change from modernity to late modernity. It looks at four key issues: the conceptualisation of care; how care translates its public policy into practice; the nature of the care relationship; and how care might be transformed in the future.
The Times, January 28th 2003, p. 2
Reform of the Child Support Agency is finally to go ahead after the Government announced yesterday that it was confident that problems with a new computer system had been overcome. From early March all new cases will be based on a standard formula using a proportion of the absent parent's net income rather than calculated case by case as before.
Contact a Family
Nottingham: DfES Publications, 2003.
Guidance aims to ensure that all families who have children with special needs or a disability have access to and get a good quality service from Sure Start. It will help programmes develop awareness of and respond appropriately to the needs of these families. It will also help them to build and share knowledge about existing information and support available to parents of children with special needs or a disability.
Department for Education and Skills
Begins with a definition of an adequate youth service. Goes on to discuss funding, making clear that significant public funds are to be invested in the service. Finally discusses performance monitoring and measurement and quality assurance.
The Independent, January 30th 2003, p. 4
The typical cost of a nursery place for a child under two has risen to £128 a week, an increase of 7 per cent. In certain parts of the South-East, the cost of a nursery place is higher - typically £168 a week. The rising cost is putting pressure on working parents and threatens the Government's childcare strategy.
(See also The Times, January 30th 2003, p. 11;The Guardian, January 30th 2003, p. 4)
London: TSO, 2003 (Cm 5730)
The key findings are:
(See also Daily Telegraph, January 29th 2003,p. 1; Financial Times, January 29th 2003, p.4; The Guardian, January 29th 2003, p.1; The Independent, January 29th 2003, p.1)
Working Group on Young Runaways and Children Abused through Prostitution
Edinburgh: TSO, 2002
Proposes a range of measures to protect vulnerable children in Scotland. These include:
S. Miller and K. Sambell
Children and Society, vol. 17, 2003, p. 32-44
Paper is based on in-depth interviews with a range of parents and explores their beliefs, expectations and experiences of parenting support. Analysis of the interviews revealed that parents had three broadly distinct views of parenting support and learning. In the dispensing model, parenting support is viewed as enabling parents to develop more effective ways of dealing with a problem child. The relating model views parenting support as helping the development of the parent. The reflecting model views parenting support as critical reflection and understanding of parent-child relationships.
Community Care, Jan 16th-22nd 2003, p. 20
The Treasury may favour the establishment of a national agency to co-ordinate and standardise local child protection services. These could be delivered by the proposed local Children's Trusts.
Community Care, Jan 9th-15th 2003, p. 18-19
The December 2002 the High Court ruled that Essex Council had failed in its duty of care towards two adoptive parents by not fully informing them about the behavioural difficulties suffered by the children placed with them. The couple claimed they would not have gone ahead with the adoption if they had been fully informed about the boy's violent behaviour.