Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2004): Child Welfare - UK

ARE WE MISSING THE MATCH? RETHINKING ADOPTER ASSESSMENT AND CHILD PROFILING

J. Cousins

Adoption and Fostering, vol.27, Winter 2003, p.7-18

There is a fundamental mismatch in the UK between the characteristics of children available for adoption and the "kinds" of children adopters wish to parent. Prospective adopters are invited during the assessment process to identify the age and characteristics of children they would consider. The problem is compounded when children in need of families are described in a brief snapshot covering their special features, often highlighting deficits. Article proposes a new approach which is led by the needs of the real child.

CONTACT - A FRESH APPROACH

L. Jackson and J. Tatlock

Family Law Journal, February 2004, p.10-12

The article discusses the difficulties and positive aspects of the law regarding divorced and separated fathers' contact with their children. There are four main issues which require consideration: enforceability of contact orders, delays and procedural problems, costs, and shared residence.

CHILDREN'S WORKFORCE IN SHAKE-UP

Anon.

Labour Research, vol.93, Feb. 2004, p.12-13

The government green paper, "Every Child Matters" proposes a wide-ranging package of workforce-related reforms to help with the delivery of the new strategy. The reforms include:

  • improving skills, effectiveness and rewards to make working with children a more attractive career option;
  • running a high profile recruitment campaign;
  • undertaking a comprehensive workload survey;
  • devising more flexible and attractive training routes into social work.

EMPOWERMENT OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN WALES

Welsh Affairs Committee

London: TSO, 2004 (House of Commons papers, session 2003/04; HC177)

Report considers how children and young people in Wales are encouraged to participate in Welsh society, and the barriers to that participation. It covers political engagement with young people and the debate about lowering the voting age, the role of the UK government and its agencies in youth justice, the role of the Children's Commissioner for Wales, the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the current working relationship between Westminster and the National Assembly for Wales on issues directly affecting children and young people in Wales.

EXPERTS IN THE DOCK

J. Carvel

Guardian Society, February 4th 2004, p.10

Angela Cannings' release on appeal last month has led to a review of cot death cases. It also puts local authority adoption and care proceedings under scrutiny. The author looks at what this means for social services.

FOSTERING SUCCESS: AN EXPLORATION OF THE RESEARCH LITERATURE IN FOSTER CARE

K. Wilson and others

London: Social Care Institute for Excellence, 2004

Review looks at the ways in which foster care impacts on outcomes for children and young people, highlighting the importance of supporting users of foster care services to define the outcomes they want in their lives and to achieve them.

I'LL COMPLAIN THE WAY I WANT

D. Dickson

Community Care, Feb.12th-18th 2004, p.34-35

Reports results of a survey conducted by children's charity NCH of the views of its residential service users about the complaints procedure. Results showed that respondents preferred to complain face-to-face to a worker they already knew and trusted. Involvement of strangers, even as advocates, seemed likely to be a barrier to young people wishing to raise a concern.

AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT OF THE EXTENT TO WHICH RISK FACTORS, FREQUENTLY IDENTIFIED IN RESEARCH, ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT WHEN ASSESSING RISKS IN CHILD PROTECTION CASES

J. Warner

Journal of Social Work, Vol. 3, 2003, p.339-363

The article examines the extent to which risk factors frequently identified in research literature were taken into account when assessing risk in a child protection context in a local authority social services department between 1996 and 2000. Results show an absence of routine recording of information relating to risk factors cited in the literature. This has raised concerns and the article concludes with plans to develop an empirically tested risk assessment tool.

THE JUDICIAL CASE MANAGEMENT PROTOCOL: A GOOD PRACTICE TOOL?

L. Goldthorpe

ChildRight, issue 203, 2004, p.5-7

The Protocol for Judicial Case Management in Public Law Children Act Cases introduces a standard procedure for handling them, with the aim of avoiding unnecessary delay.

ON THEIR OWN

T. Burke

Young People Now, Jan.28th-Feb.3rd 2004, p.16-17

Discusses the growth and impact of detached youth work in the UK. Chances of success for detached projects are improved if:

  • workers familiarise themselves with the area before contacting young people;
  • the work is kept focused;
  • workers form partnerships with other agencies;
  • workers establish an effective relationship with the young people, colleagues and managers.

PARTNERS IN TIME

P. Ennals

Health Service Journal, vol.114, Feb.5th 2004, p.18-19

The case for integrating children's services is strong, but the barriers are formidable. Instead of imposing structural change, government needs to encourage integration through:

  • joint planning and commissioning;
  • introduction of common standards;
  • unification of assessment processes;
  • strengthening multi-agency training.

PRE-SCHOOL BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS: INNOVATIVE APPROACHES

J. Barlow and others

Community Practitioner, vol.77, 2004, p.52-56

Paper highlights some innovative approaches that are being developed and used in the UK to either prevent or treat pre-school behaviour problems. These include parenting programmes, mental health promotion interventions, home visiting programmes, early years education, parent-infant psychotherapy, parent counselling and child mental health care clinics in primary care.

PUTTING THE CARE INTO RESIDENTIAL CARE: THE ROLE OF YOUNG PEOPLE

R. Emond

Journal of Social Work, Vol. 3, 2003, p.321-337

The article examines residential care for children and young people. In order to obtain a thorough understanding of group living, the author moved into two children's homes in Scotland to undertake an ethnographic study. It was revealed that the young people regarded the resident group as central to their experience of residential care. Supporting, advising and encouraging one another within the group were seen as essential. The article concludes that family-based care is not always in the interests of the child and that a greater sense of the diversity of group living experiences needs to be gained in order to provide the best possible care for vulnerable young people.

SAME-SEX FAMILIES: OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN AND PARENTS

C. Murray

Family Law, Vol. 34, 2004, p.136-139

The article discusses the effect growing up in lesbian-mother families has on children. It summarises a number of studies on the topic and questions the extent to which fathers matter. It concludes that it is a positive family environment rather than a particular family structure that is most important for children's healthy psychological development.

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

M.-L. Harding

Health Service Journal, vol.114, Feb.5th 2004, p.12-13

Looks at the work of pathfinder trusts in developing integrated health and social care services for children, young people and their families. Models range from joining up services for children with disabilities or special needs as a starting point to focusing on developing a portfolio of services through extended schools or children's centres.

SHOULD WE HAVE KNOWN?

T. Thomas

Community Care, Feb.12th-18th 2004, p.32-33

Employers of people having access to children use "hard" criminal records and cautions to ratify appointments, but are also allowed to see "soft" non-conviction information such as allegations. The nature and use of this "soft" information in vetting applicants is contentious.

VETTING FOR CHILDCARE POSTS: ISSUES RAISED BY THE SOHAM TRIAL

T. Thomas

ChildRight, issue 203, 2004, p.3-4

After the conviction of school caretaker Ian Huntley for the murder of 10-year-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, it emerged that he had been appointed despite the fact that police had information which suggested that he was unsuitable to work with children, although he had no criminal convictions. Article discusses the use made of "soft", non-conviction information in pre-employment screening.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web