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

Childhood ambition

L. Ward

Guardian Society, June 22nd 2005, p.8-9

Estelle Morris, the former Education Secretary and Arts Minister, tells how she plans to make her mark as first chair of the of the Children's Workforce Development Council for England. The newly formed council, one of five forming a federated UK Skills for Care and Development Sector Skills Council, is charged with helping push through a "step change" in the qualifications, recruitment and retention of those working with children in a range of sectors.

The contestability effect

C. Hanvey

Young People Now, June 8th-14th 2005, p.19

The Bolkestein Directive will open up the youth services market in the UK to competition from providers from other EU countries. The Directive also says that any provider that wishes to develop services in another member state will only have to comply with the regulations of its country of origin. This means that poorly regulated foreign providers could enter the UK market, leading to lower standards in youth services.

A curriculum by any other name…: the parallels between youth work and criminal justice

M. Barry

Youth and Policy, no.86, 2005, p.19-32

This article highlights the similarities between the imposition of a more formalised approach in youth work and the rapidly increasing use of "What Works" principles in criminal justice. These shifts in recent years, particularly towards curriculum-based group work programmes, have resulted in policy and practice in both youth work and criminal justice becoming less in tune with the views of young people about what they need and want from services in order to improve their life chances.

Connexions: developing options

D. Hughes

University of Derby, Centre for Guidance Studies, 2005

Report outlines three possible future models for developing the Connexions service:

  • Delivering Connexions through its existing partnership structure, which would require further spending on commissioning and accountability arrangements for universal as well as targeted provision
  • Provision of targeted support through children's trusts and universal services in schools, which could lead to increased bureaucracy, pressure on funds and inconsistent provision.
  • Developing Connexions as an all-age service.


Extending entitlement and missed opportunities in Wales

J. Holmes

Youth and Policy, no.86, 2005, p.5-17

The Welsh Assembly policy document "Extending Entitlement" issue in 2000 detailed 10 entitlements for young people aged 11-25 years. Paper explores the implications of "Extending Entitlement" for youth work in Wales. Argues that when an entitlement agenda is framed within current New Labour social inclusion and governance policies, it can undermine youth work. It aims to identify the barriers that have to be overcome to allow an entitlement agenda and youth work to prosper together.

Gender politics and families

D. Fisher

Community Practitioner, vol.78, 2005, p.201

The new National Service Framework for Children, Young People and the Maternity Services emphasises the importance of engaging fathers as well as supporting mothers. However, there is in practice considerable confusion about the role of fathers. Services can ignore fathers completely, view them solely as sources of violence and abuse, or treat them as optional extras.

Hard to reach or out-of-reach? Reasons why women refuse to take part in early interventions

J. Barlow and others

Children and Society, vol.19, 2005, p.199-210

Study explored reasons why 19 vulnerable women had refused to take part in an intensive home visiting programme. In-depth interviews elicited a number of reasons, including mistrust of professionals, feeling too stressed to even think about the benefits of the service, having adequate support from family and friends, and misperceptions about the service being offered.

Holidays for children and families in need: an exploration of the research and policy context for social tourism in the UK

N. Hazel

Children and Society, vol.19, 2005, p.225-236

Holidays for families in need are widely available in continental Europe, but "social tourism" has never featured in the social care agenda in the UK. However, evidence supports claims of benefits to children and families of regular holidays. Article concludes that both the current political emphasis on social inclusion and pan-European initiatives on "Tourism for All" provide a window of opportunity for provision of holidays for needy families to be placed on the social care agenda.

Kindness or colonialism?

E. Buchanan

Community Care, June 9th-15th 2005, p.30-31

Many local authorities in the UK discourage inter-country adoption on ideological grounds. Author narrates her own experience of adopting two baby girls from China.

Lives in the balance

V. Alakeson

Public Finance, Apr.29th-May 5th 2005, p.28-29

In order to boost the life chances of children from poor homes, government needs to invest heavily in preschool education and high quality childcare for the under-fives. Investing in high quality early education should boost academic achievement and reduce the numbers of low-skilled adults needing remedial training. It should also increase the number of young people from deprived backgrounds gaining the qualifications they need to enter university.

Ofsted head promises sector higher profile

A. Taylor

Community Care, May 26th-June 1st 2005, p.16-17

The Commission for Social Care Inspection will be scrapped in 2008, with regulation of children's social services being transferred to Ofsted. In advance of the merger, CSCI and Ofsted will be carrying out integrated inspections of children's services from 2005, consisting of an annual performance assessment and a joint area review. There are concerns, which the chief inspector of schools attempts to allay in this article, that regulation of social care will be marginalised.

Reach for the on switch

A.U. Sale

Community Care, June 9th-15th 2005, p.26-27

Presents case studies of three local authorities which are piloting electronic information systems containing basic data on all children that can be shared by practitioners.

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