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

BARRIERS TO ADOPTION: VARIATIONS IN THE USE OF ADOPTION BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES

D. Clifford and others

Adoption and Fostering, vol.27, Autumn 2003, p.20-30

Concerns amongst voluntary agencies in Northwest England about variable use of their services by local authorities led to the setting up of a research project. The research aimed to investigate the apparent anomalies in the use of adoption services and explore the reasons for the differences. Results showed how organisational and financial factors affected the use of adoption services. There were particular problems placing older children with adoptive families which led to a preference for long-term fostering in some authorities. A lack of suitable minority ethnic adoptive families made it difficult to place Black and Asian children.

CHILDREN'S VIEWS FROM CARE AND RESIDENTIAL EDUCATION ON PROPOSALS IN THE GREEN PAPER "EVERY CHILD MATTERS": REPORT OF THE CHILDREN'S RIGHTS DIRECTOR

National Care Standards Commission, 2003

The paper presents the views of children living away from home on the proposals set out in the Green Paper. It sets out children's ideas about saying healthy, keeping safe, enjoying life, helping others, the use of identity numbers, extended schools, family support, information sharing, staff training and the establishment of a children's commissioner.

COMEDY OF ADOPTION - WHEN IS A PARENT NOT A PARENT?

A. Marshall

Family Law, Vol. 33, November 2003, p.840-845

The Adoption and Children Act 2002 widened the scope of the legal ability to adopt to include unmarried and same sex couples, despite fierce opposition from the House of Lords. Section 144 of the Act defines a couple as "two people (whether of the same sex or different sexes) living as partners in an enduring family relationship". The article explores this definition and the problems arising from it, before going on consider how these problems affect the same-sex couples' claims to be accepted as potential parents. It concludes that the definition of who may apply to adopt may not be as all-encompassing as it first appears.

THE COMMON TOUCH

A. U. Sale

Community Care. Nov.20th-26th, 2003, p.36-37

The green paper on children's services "Every Child Matters" calls for the introduction of a common assessment framework to be used by all agencies dealing with young people. It is argued that use of a single assessment framework would improve inter-agency collaboration.

EVERY CHILD MATTERS: A SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS OF THE GREEN PAPER

L. Paton

ChildRight, issue 200, 2003, p.3-8

Review focuses on the four main themes of the Green Paper on reform of child welfare services:

  • supporting parents and carers;
  • early intervention and effective protection;
  • accountability and integration at local, regional and national levels;
  • workforce reform.

THE FACTS BEHIND THE FIGURES

P. J. White

Young People Now, Nov.19th-25th 2003, p.16-19

Presents an overview of local authority budget allocations to youth services for 2003-04.

HAVING A SAY: CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE TALK ABOUT CONSULTATION

A. Stafford and others

Children and Society, vol.17, 2003, p.349-360

There has been a recent surge of interest in consulting children about issues that directly affect them. Article reports views of 200 Scottish children aged three to 18 about consultation. Research shows that children are keen to be consulted if it is done appropriately, if it is about issues that directly affect them, and if they see it as likely to yield results that will benefit them or other young people.

INDEPENDENT REVIEWING OFFICERS DRAFT GUIDANCE: THE DRAFT REVISION OF CHILDREN'S CASES (AMENDMENT) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2004

Department for Education and Skills

London: 2003

These regulations will update the Review of Children's Cases Regulations 1991 by introducing the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer on a statutory basis. They will require all local authorities to have an Independent Reviewing Officer in place to chair the statutory review meetings of all looked after children. The IROs will be responsible for monitoring the local authority's review of the care plan with the aim of minimising "drift" and challenging poor practice.

IS FLAGSHIP SERVICE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM LOOSE CONNECTIONS?

A Taylor

Community Care, Nov. 13th-19th, 2003, p. 18-19

There are concerns that Connexions, the government's flagship service to support young people, is focusing on disaffected and disengaged youngsters to the exclusion of other students not at risk of dropping out. Questions have also been raised about the engagement of Connexions with the voluntary sector, and its services for young people with mental health problems.

IS IT TIME TO AMEND THE CHILDREN ACT

S. Aspis

Community Living, vol.17, no.1, 2003, p.18-19

Concludes that the Children Act 1989 does not provide sufficient safeguards to protect the rights of disabled parents with learning difficulties to a family life during the care planning process.

LOCAL AUTHORITY AND VOLUNTARY ADOPTION AGENCIES' ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUPPORTING ADOPTIVE FAMILIES: A SURVEY OF UK PRACTICE

A. Rushton

Adoption and Fostering, vol.27, Autumn 2003, p.51-60

Paper presents main messages from a survey of adoption support services in local authority and voluntary adoption agencies throughout the UK. Survey examined developments in service provision and delivery resulting from the government's drive to increase the use of adoption as an option to secure permanency for looked after children. The evidence from the survey confirms that most social services departments are responding to their adoption support responsibilities as far as they are able. However, when difficulties appear adoptive families need to have access to services provided by other disciplines, such as health and education. It is less evident that the majority of these have as yet responded as effectively.

MAKING BRITAIN FAMILY FRIENDLY

G. Keep

London: National Family and Parenting Institute, 2003

Britain's parents want to bring their families up in a culture where children are welcomed as an asset, not judged to be a liability. In response to the views of parents, report calls for:

  • introduction of extended paid parental leave;
  • right to flexible working for parents;
  • increasing affordable, quality child care;
  • a 20mph speed limit for traffic in residential areas;
  • extension of home zones;
  • an end to the exclusion of older children and teenagers.

THE NEW CHILDREN'S DIRECTORATE AND MINISTER FOR CHILDREN

L. Payne

ChildRight, issue 200, 2003, p.11-12

Discusses the role and responsibilities of the newly appointed Minister for Children and Families, Margaret Hodge.

PROTECTING CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE: RESULTS OF AN AUDIT OF NHS ORGANISATIONS IN ENGLAND

Commission for Health Improvement

London: 2003

This audit was undertaken following the death of Victoria Climbié. It covered procedures for initial child assessment, management of care, discharge and follow-up, governance, and staff recruitment and training.

PROFESSIONAL PRIDE

B. Oliver

Young People Now, Nov.12th-18th 2003, p.15

Despite widespread publicity, there is a continuing lack of understanding amongst professionals and agencies working with young people about the role and function of the Connexions service. Author argues that Connexions may be seen as a threat to the professional identity of other youth workers.

SERVICES FOR PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN WITH BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS IN A MIDLANDS CITY

C. Coe and others

Child: Care, Health and Development, Vol. 9, 2003, p.417-424

The behavioural difficulties of pre-school children in the Midlands are examined through questionnaires sent to city health visitors. Information was gleaned as to interventions by health visitors, their referral practices and constraints to their practice. Interviews also took place with the nursery nurses who support the health visitors. Results showed that group-based parenting and behaviour management programmes were more effective in long term than programmes offered to parents on an individual basis. However, many providers only offer the one-to-one service. The report concludes that behavioural problems can be prevented but that support services to parents as well as nursery and school services must be provided in order for this to be achieved.

SHOW US THE MONEY

S. Gillen

Community Care, Nov.13th-19th 2003, p 34-35

Explores professional concerns about government's reluctance to explain how the radical reforms of children's services proposed in the green paper "Every Child Matters" are to be funded

"SKILLS PROTECT": TOWARDS A PROFESSIONAL FOSTER CARE SERVICE

B. Hutchinson, J. Asquith and J. Simmonds

Adoption and Fostering, vol.27, Autumn 2003, p.8-13

Looked after children are much more likely than children living with their own families to suffer emotional and behavioural difficulties and to be in poor health. The needs of this population can only be met by highly trained professional foster carers. Such carers would have to be paid enough for them to regard fostering as their full time job, would be professionally qualified, and would be subject to formal supervision.

SOCIAL SERVICES AND THE GREEN PAPER

A. Cozens

ChildRight, issue 200, 2003, p.9-10

Considers the implications of the Green Paper "Every Child Matters" for the way local authorities run their social services. Its proposals will accelerate the trend of linking social services with education. It will also amend or abolish the statutory role of the Director of Social Services. However, it leaves the future of community care services for adults and older people dangling.

SUPPORT FOR ADOPTIVE FAMILIES: A REVIEW OF CURRENT EVIDENCE ON PROBLEMS, NEEDS AND EFFECTIVENESS

A. Rushton

Adoption and Fostering, vol.27, Autumn 2003, p.41-50

This review of the research literature is concerned with selected aspects of adoption support, namely the problems faced by placed children, the characteristics of the new families, the needs of both parents and children for services, and what is known about the effectiveness of interventions for placements in difficulty.

TOWARDS UNIVERSAL CHILDCARE: ANALYSING CHILDCARE IN 2003

Daycare Trust

London: 2003

Demonstrates that there are still marked regional and local variations in the availability of childcare places, and that many families are still struggling to afford childcare. Calls on government to make childcare a part of the infrastructure of local communities by establishing a network of children's centres in every community.

UNTANGLING CONTENT FROM RHETORIC

K. Bilton

Professional Social Work, Nov. 2003, p.16-17

Reviews the green paper on children's services "Every Child Matters" concentrating on its key themes of family support, prevention, accountability, integrated services, and improved staff recruitment, retention and development.

THE VICTORIA CLIMBIÉ INQUIRY REPORT: KEY FINDINGS FROM THE SELF-AUDITS OF NHS ORGANISATIONS, SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENTS AND POLICE FORCES

Commission for Health Improvement, H. M. Inspectorate of Constabulary and Social Services Inspectorate

London: CHI, 2003

Report shows that the recommendations of the Victoria Climbié Inquiry have had an impact on the police, social services and the NHS, with the majority of organisations making steady progress towards implementing them.

VOLUNTARY AGENCIES ARE FROZEN OUT AS COUNCILS TUSSLE WITH NEW REGULATIONS

D Hayes

Community Care, Nov.6th - 12th, 2003, p.18-19

New regulations have come into force giving local authorities responsibility for providing a range of support services for adopters and adopted children. There is concern that councils, which are struggling to meet the requirements of the regulations, are proving reluctant to use the expertise of voluntary adoption agencies in this field.

WELCOME TO THE MACHINE

R Winchester

Community Care, Oct.30th-Nov.5th, 2003, p26-27

The government's green paper "Every Child Matters" proposes a national database containing sensitive information about all children which would be accessible to police, health authorities, schools, housing bodies and social services. There are concerns about invasion of family privacy and keeping the data accurate and up-to-date.

WIDENING THE NET

P Gosling

Public Finance, Oct 31st - Nov.6th, 2003 p.20-23

Discusses proposals to create a national database recording information on all children. Information would be contributed and accessed by social services, schools, the police and the NHS. There are concerns about invasion of privacy and the amount of work required to maintain the database up-to-date

WHO HAS THE WHIP HAND?

K Leason

Community Care, Nov.6th-12th, 2003 p.36-37

The government green paper "Every Child Matters" proposes the appointment of children's services directors to oversee both education and social care. There are concerns that these new directors will be recruited from the education sector rather than social services.

WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?

A.U. Sale

Community Care, Oct.23rd-29th 2003, p.34-35

The Green Paper "Every Child Matters" proposes that a lead professional should be designated to co-ordinate the work of all agencies involved with a child at risk. Article discusses whether social workers should assume this role.

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