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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2005): Child Welfare - UK

CHILD PROTECTION AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL

G. Jack

Child Abuse Review, vol.13, 2004, p.368-383

Uses a developmental-ecological approach to reflect upon ways in which varying interpretations of the terms "child abuse" and "significant harm" have influenced the development of the UK child protection system. Interventions have been focused on "high risk" families, who, in fact, are not inherently different from many others living in disadvantaged circumstances. Structural inequalities in society in themselves heighten the risk of child abuse and neglect. These disadvantages can be countered by strengthening the social networks of parents and building up the social capital of the community in which they live.

CHILD PROTECTION IN THE COMMUNITY: A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT APPROACH

S. Wright

Child Abuse Review, vol.13, 2004, p.384-398

Presents a case study of a project in Tilbury aimed at promoting the safety of children within their communities. Market research was undertaken to promote an understanding of the things that children and parents felt affected children's safety locally. A community conference was organised to promote awareness of the issues identified and to engage local policy-makers and professionals in discussing potential solutions with community members. A youth forum was established to enable young people to influence local decision-making about issues that affect their safety and well-being.

CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE, PARENTS AND CARERS PARTICIPATION IN CHILDREN'S FUND CASE STUDY PARTNERSHIPS

National Evaluation of the Children's Fund

Department for Education and Skills, 2004 (Research report; RR602)

Report summarises key emerging lessons about participation from the first round of case study work with six Children's Fund partnerships.

CHOICES FOR CHILDCARE

P. Collins

Public Finance, Jan.14th-20th 2005, p.22-24

The Labour Government's new strategy for childcare aims to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children through provision of high quality care, allow more women to re-enter the labour market, and improve the work-life balance of working mothers. There is a danger that the strategy might veer inadvertently from meeting child development objectives to focusing on labour market objectives targeted on parents.

COMMUNITY PLANNING TO FOSTER RESILIENCE IN CHILDREN

C.S. Clauss-Ehlers and M.D. Weist

New York, Kluwer, 2004

To help children successfully through transition to the challenging world to adulthood, community-based resilience interventions are becoming more important than ever. Currently, resilience-based interventions are expanding to examine not only the internal strengths children and adolescents bring to a variety of situations, but also to explore how to leverage community and family resources in the context of a culturally diverse world. Key themes focus on:

  • shifting the paradigm from illness to strengths and health;
  • assess and improve environments to minimize harmful influences and increase protection;
  • adapt and build on strengths of cultural and linguistic variation in an increasingly diverse society;
  • move towards collaborative approaches that involve youth, family, schools, and community members who partner at all levels.

CONSTRUCTIONS OF CHILD AND YOUTH ADVOCACY: EMERGING ISSUES IN ADVOCACY PRACTICE

J. Dalrymple

Children and Society, vol.19, 2005, p.3-15

Paper draws on material from five advocacy projects to examine how advocacy is constructed by those involved in both the provision and receipt of the services. It argues that the construction of advocacy in an adult proceduralised way is likely to compromise its potential to challenge the structures that deny young people in receipt of welfare services opportunities to participate in decision making about their lives.

"THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHILD ABUSE AND CHILD PROTECTION COULD BE YOU": CREATING A COMMUNITY NETWORK OF PROTECTIVE ADULTS

L. Davies

Child Abuse Review, vol.13, 2004, p.426-432

Describes an Area Child Protection Committee community involvement strategy in a North London borough between 1995 and 2000. The strategy aimed to raise awareness of child abuse and to encourage informers to denounce suspected abusers. These aims were pursued through an advertising campaign and a training programme offered to members of the community in contact with children, eg childminders, foster carers, religious groups, play groups, etc.

FOSTERING SUPPORT: ALLOWANCES AND PAY FOR FOSTER CARERS

R. Tapsfield

ChildRight, issue 208, 2004, p.5-6

Foster carers today are part of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals working on behalf of children in care. A much higher proportion of looked after children currently live with foster carers than in the past and these children are more likely to have behavioural difficulties. In spite of their increased responsibilities, recent research shows that the status and financial support of foster carers have not changed. Half of foster carers remain unpaid, while only one third feel that their costs are being met in full.

IS THE END NIGH FOR YOUTH AGENCIES?

T. Lloyd

Young People Now, Dec.15th-21st 2004, p.8

The Wales Youth Agency is set to close in 2006 when the Welsh Assembly withdraws its funding. Government in Wales will lose the benefit of an independent commentator on its youth policy.

NURSERY CARE COSTS SOAR

L. Ward

The Guardian, Jan 27th 2005, p.9

The cost of childcare in Britain is rising at over three times the rate of inflation, with nursery fees in inner London soaring by 17% over the last year, according to a survey from the Daycare Trust. Some parents are paying £350 a week, leading to calls for more government funding.

(See also The Times, Jan 27th 2005, p.10)

PARENTAL SEPARATION: CHILDREN'S NEEDS AND PARENTS' RESPONSIBILITIES: NEXT STEPS: REPORT OF THE RESPONSES TO CONSULTATION AND AGENDA FOR ACTION

Department for Constitutional Affairs, Department for Education and Skills and Department of Trade and Industry.

London: TSO, 2005 (Cm 6452)

Government will develop model parenting plans offering realistic examples of workable contact arrangements for a variety of situations to help parents reach appropriate compromises. The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) will develop a new problem-solving role and ensure that court-ordered contact arrangements take place as required. There will be new powers for the courts to enforce contact orders and guidance to speed up the hearing of family cases. Government will also strongly promote mediation to prevent cases from going to court, and will extend in-court conciliation nationwide.

"SEEN BUT NOT HEARD": YOUNG PEOPLE'S EXPERIENCE OF ADVOCACY

J. Boylan and P. Ing

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol.14, 2005, p.2-12

Authors present two research projects that examined how young people in care experience advocacy services designed to enhance their participation in decision-making. The research shows that this form of support has a pivotal role in fighting against the marginalisation of youth and against the denial of their citizenship rights.

STAY AND PLAY: TRANSFORMING HEALTHCARE DELIVERY

K. Brown and N. Young

Children and Society, vol.19, 2005, p.42-53

Stay and Play child development and learning sessions were set up as part of a project to provide support for isolated mothers. Continuous Quality Improvement and Action Research methodologies were used to engage a community and change service provision. Professionals involved learned to change their practice to meet local community needs.

SURELY SOME MISTAKE?

N. Glass

Society Guardian, Jan 5th 2005, p.2-3

The author, a creator of the government's much vaunted early years childcare programme, writes about why successful, community-led Sure Start projects in deprived areas of Britain are now being dismantled in everything but name. What led to its abolition? According to the author, 'Programmes could only reach a minority of disadvantaged children…that was the fatal flaw" Because not all disadvantaged children live in deprived areas, each small Sure Start programme could only serve a minority; those from adjacent areas could not participate.

UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF CONNEXIONS ON YOUNG PEOPLE AT RISK

L. Hoggarth and D.I. Smith

Department for Education and Skills, 2004 (Research report; RR607)

Study aims to enhance understanding of the impact of the Connexions Service on young people at risk of underachievement and disaffection. The study found that for a number of young people at risk, their relationship with their personal adviser had been central to their development and progress. Typically, those relationships associated with the most positive outcomes were characterised by a high level of trust. Effective personal advisers built up trust through a chain of listening out for the young person's "orientation", accurate responses, negotiation of what was possible, and delivery of what was promised. Skilled PAs have a wide range of interventions available and well rehearsed referral routes, for instance in the areas of homelessness or drug misuse.

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