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

ANOTHER WHITE ELEPHANT? YOUTH COUNCILS AS DEMOCRATIC STRUCTURES

H. Matthews and M. Limb

Space and Polity, vol. 7, 2003, p.173-192

Paper considers the potential of youth councils as democratic structures and the extent to which they provide meaningful opportunities for the engagement of young people in local decision-making. To date, the extent of young people's participation has been modest and those who take part are not necessarily representative of their communities.

ASSESSING AND DOCUMENTING CHILD ILL-TREATMENT IN ETHNIC MINORITY HOUSEHOLDS

J. Brophy, J. Jhutti-Johal and C. Owen

Family Law, Vol.33, 2003, p.756-764

The article reports the findings of a study of child protection litigation in multi-faith and mutli-cultural settings. The study shows that cases involving children from black and mixed parent families are more likely to be transferred than those of their white counterparts. It reveals that cultural/religious diversity issues that may be relevant to the case are only described and analysed spasmodically and that experts' reports are often "colour and culture blind". If such information is noted it can be located in a variety of statements and reports, and thus its inclusion in the case depends on the reading time of the judge, its perceived relevance and the ease with which it can be retrieved. The article stresses the need to improve the consistency, location and quality of information available to the court, as well as the need for greater attention and transparency in the way that cultural and religious issues feature in evidence.

CHILD PROTECTION POST LAMING: THE WIDER AGENDA

R. Bullock

Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. 11, Oct. 2003, p.13-17

The Laming Inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbié recommends national and local changes to the child protection process. While the benefits of national reforms are uncertain, changes in local practice are clearly necessary. The article argues that practice development needs to be informed by research into the epidemiology of child abuse and the effects of decisions on children's welfare. A common language to identify and analyse children's needs and relate them to services, manifest in validated practice tools for use by managers and practitioners, is suggested as a way forward.

DOES EVERY CHILD REALLY MATTER?

A. U. Sale

Community Care, Sept. 25th-Oct. 1st 2003, p.36-37

There is concern among professionals that the green paper "Every Child Matters" does not offer proposals for improving services to several key client groups, including young carers, children with parents in prison, parents of disabled children and asylum-seeking children.

DUTIES TO CARE LEAVERS

J. Dow

Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. 11, Oct. 2003, p.18-21

Looks at the duties laid on local authorities by the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000, focusing on accommodation provision and pathway plans.

EDUCATION MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE PILOTS FOR VULNERABLE YOUNG PEOPLE AND CHILDCARE PILOTS: IMPLEMENTATION AND REPORTED IMPACTS IN THE FIRST TWO YEARS (2000-2001/ 2001-2002)

B. Dobson and others

London: Department for Education and Skills, 2003 (Research report; RR470)

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) Vulnerable Pilots were introduced in four areas in 2000 to extend the scope of the main EMA pilots by encouraging participation, retention and achievement in post-16 education among young people believed to be particularly vulnerable to economic and social exclusion. Although the definition of "vulnerability" has since been widened, the evaluation has focused on the three groups who were the original target of the pilot: young people who were homeless, teenage parents and young people with special needs.

THE EFFECTS OF THE PEERS EARLY EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP (PEEP) ON CHILDREN'S DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRESS

M. Evangelou and K. Sylva

London: Department for Education and Skills, 2003 (Research report; RR489)

The research found that children from disadvantaged backgrounds aged three to five whose parents participated in their early education through the PEEP achieved systematically 5% higher scores in language comprehension than the control group. Similarly their numeracy scores were higher by 7.67%.

EVERY CHILD MATTERS

D. Carlisle

Community Practitioner, vol.76, 2003, p.368-369

Summarises and comments on the government's green paper on services for children at risk from the point of community practitioners.

FAR FROM CERTAIN

A. Benjamin and K. Inman

Guardian Society, October 8th 2003, p.2-3

After the praise heaped on the Sure Start programme for toddlers at Labour's conference, this article investigates whether the rhetoric matches the reality.

GET IT SORTED: PROVIDING EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE MAKING A COMPLAINT UNDER THE CHILDREN ACT 1989

Department for Education and Skills

Nottingham: DFES Publications, 2003

Consultation on draft guidance designed to provide stakeholders with an understanding of the principles and changes made by the Adoption and Children Act 2002, and to discuss their implications for policy and practice. When a child states that a problem has not been resolved and a complaint is likely to be made, local authorities should ensure that help and assistance are given if s/he would like an advocate to speak on their behalf.

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CONNEXIONS IN RURAL AREAS: A GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE

Connexions [and] Countryside Agency

Sheffield: 2003

The report focuses on how Connexions Partnerships have developed a strategy for service delivery through partnerships with other players in the voluntary and community sectors in rural areas and on how they have undertaken outreach to help young people access services, learning or development opportunities. It explores Connexion's close involvement in one-stop-shops and drop-in centres in market towns, work with young people from traveller communities, and support for mobility and moped loan schemes.

INTEGRATED AND QUALIFIED: WORK FORCE DEVELOPMENT FOR EFFECTIVE DELIVERY OF SERVICES TO VULNERABLE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE AND THOSE WHO CARE FOR THEM: FINAL REPORT

TOPSS England

Leeds: 2003

Report outlines the current context of childcare training, and highlights national policy drivers and their implications for training. This includes recent government departmental changes and references to the implications of the "Every Child Matters" green paper. It then reviews progress in achieving targets identified in the national training strategy "Modernising the Social Care Workforce". It appraises the contribution that the development of National Occupational Standards and awards in childcare has made to the implementation of the strategy.

KITEMARK ON THE CARDS

A.U. Sale

Community Care, Oct.16th-22nd 2003, p.43

Discusses proposals in the green paper "Every Child Matters" for setting up a sector skills council to deliver key parts of the suggested workforce reforms.

LAW AND PRACTICE: CHILDREN'S LAW REVIEW

N. Wyld and B. Lindley

Legal Action, Oct. 2003, p.12-17

A six-month summary of legislation, practice matters and case law relating to children. The report includes:

  • Proposals for reforming the delivery of children's services
  • The Adoption and ChildrenAct 2002
  • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Select Committee Report)
  • Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill
  • Children's Act Report 2002

LISTEN TO ME

M. Clegg

Young People Now, Oct.15th-21st 2003, p.16-17

Discusses the effectiveness of youth forums in involving young people in local democracy. Presents case studies of successful schemes in York and Barnsley.

MIXED BLESSING

J. Carvel

Guardian Society, October 8th 2003, p.10

To protect children the government proposes combining education and social services in councils - but which of the two departments will come out on top?

In an attempt to end the communications failures that contributed to the death of Victoria Climbié from child abuse, a government green paper last month proposed early legislation to require councils to appoint a director of children's services. The question is, who will rule the roost in these new departments?

NEW STANDARDS FOR DISABLED CHILDREN: PARENT'S SURVEY RESULTS

Contact a Family

London: 2003

Nine out of ten parents of disabled children would not object to confidential information being shared between agencies if it improved services. The survey shows that parents are unhappy with levels of co-ordination between services and dismiss confidentiality issues as being a barrier to information sharing.

NO LITTLE CONCERN

B. Hudson

Health Service Journal, vol.113, Oct. 23rd 2003, p.17

Children's trusts as envisaged in the Green Paper "Every Child Matters" will encompass some or all of the services provided by social services, local education authorities and primary care trusts (PCTs). PCTs will be empowered to delegate functions to children's trusts. To complement these changes in structure, the Green Paper envisages the integration of education, social care and health services on the ground. Early progress is expected in the formation of multi-disciplinary teams, the collocation of staff in universal service centres such as schools and the introduction of a common assessment framework. Underpinning this will be a shift towards much greater information sharing.

ONE SIZE WON'T FIT EVERYBODY

H. Perry

Young People Now, September 24th-30th 2003, p.7

The Green Paper on children's services, "Every Child Matters", proposes far-reaching workforce reforms. The article examines professionals' response to these changes.

PUTTING CHILDREN FIRST

M. Hodge

Professional Social Work, Oct. 2003, p.8-11

The recent Green Paper on children's services sets out a five point reform programme, focusing on elimination of child poverty, early intervention, improvement of specialist services, service integration and better staff training.

REARRANGING THE PIECES

N. Valios

Community Care, Oct.9th-15th 2003, p.36-37

Presents comments from Lord Laming and other experts on the structural changes proposed in the government's Green Paper on children's services, "Every Child Matters"

SCHOOL'S NOT OUT

H. Bond

Young People Now, Oct.15th-21st 2003, p.14-15

Traditionally there has been a strict demarcation between schools and the youth service. Article describes an innovative project in Nelson, Lancashire which has demonstrated how youth work based in schools can develop the skills and self-esteem of individual young people and improve the ethos of the whole school.

SERVICES FOR DISABLED CHILDREN: A REVIEW OF SERVICES FOR DISABLED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES

Audit Commission

Audit Commission Publications, 2003

The commission found a lottery of provision, dependent on where people live and how hard they can push for the services they need. Too little is being provided too late, with long waits for information, equipment and treatment. There are a maze of services that frustrates and confuses families, and yet pockets of good and innovative practice exist. Urgent change is needed. The Commission has identified the critical components of effective services for disabled children and has developed a suite of improvement tools to support change at every level.

THE SITTER SERVICE IN SCOTLAND: A STUDY OF THE COSTS AND BENEFITS

V. Wilson and others

Edinburgh: Scottish Executive Education Department, 2003 (Insight; 9)

Many parents now work atypical hours. Despite the need for childcare to cover weekends, early mornings and evenings, few providers offer extended services. Sitter services have been developed by One Parent Families Scotland to fill this gap. They offer childcare from early morning to late evening, seven days a week, in the child's home.

A TRAGEDY OF ERRORS

G. Burrows and J. Carvel

Guardian Society, October 22nd 2003, p.2-3

Article looks at the problems of the Child and Family Court Advisory Service

(Cafcass). Since its inception in 2001 it has been plagued by problems, and last month the death of Toni-Ann Byfield put it in the spotlight. Less than two and a half years after it was established to protect the interests of children in court proceedings such as custody decisions, and lauded as a cornerstone of the child protection system, Cafcass has been dogged by administrative chaos and has become, in its short life, one of the government's most heavily criticised child welfare initiatives.

UK ACCUSED OF FAILING CHILD VICTIMS

S. Boseley

The Guardian, October 9th 2003, p.1 and p.3-5

Britain is failing to protect some if its most vulnerable children from poverty, imprisonment and neglect, a coalition of 180 charities and other organisations has warned. One year after the United Nations condemned the government for its record on supporting children, the article reveals the scale of criticism levelled by the Children's Rights Alliance. The article goes on to give 10 young people the chance to say why not enough is being done to protect their human rights.

WHAT IS CONNEXIONS?

M. Seal

Community Practitioner, vo.76, 2003, p.374-375

The Connexions service aims to support and guide all young people through their teenage years and in their transition to adult and working life. The service focuses particularly on disengaged and disaffected young people and offers guidance and support through personal advisers.

WHEN TWO HOMES ARE BETTER THAN ONE

N. Anderson

Family Law Journal, No. 30, October 2003, p. 22-24

The article examines the current trend of granting joint residential orders for children in divorce cases. The courts recognise that a child can live with both parents, even if they do not live in the same household. Such an order often best reflects the reality of the child's life and should be made provided it is in the best interests of the child.

WORKING IN CHILDREN'S SERVICES: A TIME TO BE BOLD

B. Hudson

Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. 11, Oct 2003, p.3-12

Across the age range and across service needs there is evidence that children's services in the UK are characterised by fragmentation rather than by continuity and partnership. The article discusses two emergent policy responses to this lack of integration: children's trusts and the national service framework for children.

YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING CARE: THE IMPACT OF THE CHILDREN (LEAVING CARE) ACT 2000

B. Broad

ChildRight, no.199, 2003, p.16-18

Presents a summary of the preliminary findings of a research project evaluating services for young people leaving care. Survey compared services before and after the implementation of the Children (Leaving Care) Act in the areas of accommodation, education, employment and training, financial support and access to health care.

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