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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2003): Child Welfare - UK

THE CASE FOR A CHILDREN'S COMMISSIONER FOR ENGLAND

Joint Committee on Human Rights

London: TSO, 2003 (House of Commons papers, session 2002/03: HC 666)

The Committee recommends the establishment of an independent Children's Commissioner for England. The Commissioner would be independent of government, would champion children's interests at the national level, and would act as a channel for their views.

CHILDCARE GROWS INTO £2.15BN BUSINESS

J Carvel

The Guardian, May 6th 2003, p.10

The changing pattern of parenting and childcare in Britain is revealed today in figures showing a fivefold growth in nurseries for the under fives in the past 10 years. The health and community analysts Laing and Buisson found that more than 400,000 children attended day care nurseries on the average weekday last year, costing on average £120 a week.

(See also The Daily Telegraph, May 6th 2003, p.8)

CHILDREN CARING FOR PARENTS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS: PERSPECTIVES OF YOUNG CARERS, PARENTS AND PROFESSIONALS

J Aldridge and S Becker

Bristol: The Policy Press, 2003

Little is known about the experiences of children living in families affected by severe and enduring mental illness. This book is the first in-depth study of children and young people caring for parents affected in this way. Drawing on primary research data collected from 40 families the book presents the perspectives of children, their parents and the key professionals in contact with them.

COUNCILS FACE DESERTION BY CARERS AS INDEPENDENT AGENCIES OFFER MORE

D Hayes

Community Care, May 8th-14th 2003, p.16-17

Local authoriy foster carers are moving to independent sector agencies which offer better remuneration and support.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY: "IMPROVE YOUR CONNEXIONS"

E Mortimer, K Oleinikova and L Griseri

London: Department for Education and Skills, 2003 (Research Brief; RBX09-03)

Report summarises the first stage of the Connexions Service customer satisfaction survey. This covered awareness of, and contact with, the Connexions Service, the role of Connexions in helping respondents take decisions about their lives, and satisfaction with the service provided.

GUIDE TO APPROVAL FOR HOME CHILDCARERS

Ofsted

2003

The government has introduced a new form of eligible childcare for the home, called the Home Childcarer. From April 2003 parents using Home Childcarers will be able to receive help with the costs through the childcare tax credit element of the working tax credit. Guide explains how a registered childminder may be approved as a Home Childcarer.

HOME CHILDCARING CODE OF PRACTICE FOR CHILDREN UNDER EIGHT

Department for Education and Skills

Nottingham: 2003

This is a set of 13 good practice criteria to which all approved Home Childcarers must adhere. Each criterion describes a particular aspect of childcare, such as safety.

web linkMEASURING CHILD POVERTY CONSULTATION: PRELIMINARY CONCLUSIONS (PDF format)

Department for Work and Pensions

2003

The consultation exercise produced no concensus on a favoured approach for measuring child poverty. However further methodological work and discussion with experts will take place on four options included in the consultation:

  • development of multi-dimensional indicators;
  • measurement of material deprivation via the Family Resources Survey;
  • incorporation of relative income into a long term measure;
  • identification of suitable components for a tiered approach.

Two options, which received little support in the consultation, will not be taken forward:

  • the child poverty index approach,
  • the consistent poverty measure.

NATIONAL OCCUPATIONAL STANDARDS FOR MANAGERS IN RESIDENTIAL CHILD CARE

TOPSS UK Partnership

Leeds: 2003

Standards describe best practice in the management of residential children's homes and reflect the requirements placed on managers by regulations and workforce development strategies. As well as being a tool for managers to assess their own performance, and for their supervision and appraisal, the standards are expected to be the basis for registered manager (childcare) qualifications.

NIGHT CARETAKER

G Williams

Community Care, May 1st-7th 2003, p.40-41

The Laming report on the death of Victoria Climbié recommends ending the responsibility of emergency duty teams (EDTs) for safeguarding children at risk. Author argues EDT workers are highly skilled and experienced and losing their input could be counterproductive.

A PRACTITIONER'S TOOL FOR CHILD PROTECTION AND THE ASSESSMENT OF PARENTS

J Fowler

London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003

This book provides a checklist for collecting and interpreting information for risk assessment in all aspects of child protection work. It includes a focus on assessing attachment issues which are used for case conferences, as a core assessment in care proceedings, or for statements in public and private law matters.

SOCIAL CARE SECTOR WANTS GREEN PAPER TO ESTABLISH INTER-AGENCY FRAMEWORK

A Taylor

Community Care, May 1st-7th 2003, p.16-17

Representatives of social services and charities state their hopes for the imminent government green paper on children at risk. They hope that the green paper will contain proposals to promote information sharing and co-operation between health and social care agencies and schools. There is also uncertainty about the benefits of the national agency for children proposed in the Laming report.

STAFF IN THE DOCK

J Foulds

Community Care, May 8th-14th 2003, p.38-39

Frontline social workers have in the past taken the lion's share of the blame for the death of a child on their caseload at the hands of its carers. Article discusses the impact of involvement in such cases on staff.

STATEMENT ON THE ACCOUNTABILITIES OF CHIEF EXECUTIVES AND DIRECTORS OF SOCIAL SERVICES IN ENGLAND

Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers [and] Association of Directors of Social Services.

2003

The organisations say that chief executives and directors of social services must provide leadership to ensure that children at risk are protected. The report adds that proper corporate responsibility and accountability need a culture of openness and effective communication at all levels and authorities need to generate a climate of mutual confidence and trust. Report recommends:

  • regular formal briefings between social services directors and chief executives;
  • chief executives should have clearer powers in the recruitment and management of officers;
  • the role of the two officers and their relationship with local politicians should be clarified locally.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU'RE WORRIED A CHILD IS BEING ABUSED

Department of Health and others

London: 2003

Practice guidance has been developed to assist practitioners in health, education, social care and criminal justice in safeguarding children from harm. It focuses on:

  • steps to take if you have concerns about a child's welfare,
  • what happens once you have reported your concerns,
  • what contribution you may be expected to make to the processes of assessment, planning and working with the child,
  • some background information about child protection legislation.

The guidance applies to all children whether living with their families, in institutional care, or with foster parents.

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