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News round up-20 July 2012

Published: Friday, 20th July 2012

A round up of recent news, reports and research that will be of interest to Barnet's childrens workforce.


Intergenerational violence and abuse blights 'troubled families', says report

Intergenerational domestic violence, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, neglect and arson are blighting the lives of thousands of children, according to a report by the troubled families tsar, Louise Casey. Three quarters of mothers interviewed had experienced domestic violence. The research found that all of the “troubled families” interviewed by Casey were suffering from multiple intergenerational problems.  

Courses for jobseekers are not leading them into employment

Ofsted has published its Skills for employment report which found that too many programmes for jobseekers focused on achievement of qualifications rather than job specific skills. When looking at the overall proportion of a total of 10,270 jobseekers spanning 31 different further education providers Ofsted found only 19 per cent were successful in getting a job. 

Measuring happiness

A new method that will help to measure the happiness of children has been developed by the Children’s Rights Director for England. Through discussions with children in care and/or living away from home, Dr Roger Morgan has created a questionnaire for children to complete based on the things that young people might say about themselves. Twenty statements such as ‘I know what is happening next in my life’, ‘I get bullied’, ‘I am getting all the help I need’ and ‘I get lonely’ are listed and scored.  

MP proposes landmark new social care law

The Social Care (Local sufficiency) and Identification of Carers bill, aims to revolutionise the way local authorities plan social care services in their area. This private members bill, with cross-party support, also aims to create duties on the NHS, school, FE and HE to identify carers including young carers, and signpost them to support and advice.  

£10 million literacy programme for disadvantaged pupils

Disadvantaged children who are behind in reading and writing at the end of primary school will have the chance to get extra catch-up lessons. This comes as part of the Government’s drive to narrow the attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers.  

Ofsted no longer required to produce an annual assessment of local authority children’s services

Annual children’s services assessment have ended following the repeal of section 138 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006. This will have no impact on Ofsted’s other inspection activity.   


Special Educational Needs in England, January 2012

This Statistical First Release from the Department for Education brings together information available on special educational needs and special schools in England .  

It takes a lot of courage: children and young people’s experiences of complaints procedures in services for mental health and sexual health including those provided by GPs

The report from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner found that some children and young people want to make complaints about mental health or sexual health services but are unable to. Barriers included complaints systems being too complicated, relying too much on written skills; staff in mental health, sexual health and GP services not trained to receive and act on complaints made by children and young people; complaints not always treated in confidence and sometimes young people are labelled as troublemakers.  

Government publishes destination data for the first time

The Department for Education today published new data showing how many students progressed to further or higher education or training for each school, college and local authority in England . The statistics give parents and the public even greater information with which they can choose the right school or college for their child.

August 2011 Riots

In a written statement by Erick Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, he sets out the government’s actions and programme of work to address the issues raised in After the riots: the final report. He said that the government was increasing the number of health visitors, doubling the number of places on the Family Nurse Partnership programme, retaining a network of Sure Start Children’s Centres, delivering support to parents, investing in the Troubled Families initiative and providing expert support to 29 areas most affected by gang and youth violence.  

“Testing the bridges”: understanding the role of the church amidst riots, disturbances and disorder

This report from the Church of England, Mission and Public Affairs Council presents research highlighting the effect of government cuts on people in areas where violence broke out in the riots of August 2011. While acknowledging that the causes of the disorder are “complex and disputed”, it explores the impact of cuts on some of the hard-hit areas. The report says that residents there spoke of “increasing pressure and despair” as services such as youth centres and legal advice centres disappear.  

An equal start: improving outcomes in children’s centres

This work from the UCL Institute of Health Equity identifies the most important outcomes Children’s Centres should be striving for in order to give all children positive early-years experiences. The report emphasises the need to focus on supporting good parenting and the environment in which parents live and work.  

The Family Report Card 2012

The Family and Parenting Institute has awarded the government a mark of D+ in its annual assessment of whether the UK is becoming a family friendly nation. It highlights the difficulty for millions of families hit by tax and benefit changes and high child care costs advising that short-term pressures on household budgets could undermine family resilience over the long-term. The report welcomes investment in parenting classes, relationship support and childcare for disadvantaged two-year-olds and the establishment of the Troubled Families Unit.  

Draft Care and Support Bill Briefing

The governments draft Care and Support Bill will become the main plank of social care legislation, effectively replacing many statutes of the last 60 years. Carers UK have written a briefing which reflects concern about the impact of the draft bill’s impact on the rights of young carers. The briefing sets out the implications of the bill and examines the measures in detail.  

Tim Loughton advice about freeing orders and placement orders

Tim Loughton is advising local authorities to review all children’s cases whose legal status is 'freed for adoption' or who are subject to a placement order but whose plan has changed away from adoption to ensure that their care plan and legal status is correct and up to date. The letter follows a court judgment about two children whose legal status was 'freed for adoption' but for whom adoption was no longer the plan and no appropriate care plans were in place.  


Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors

The General Medical Council has published new guidance which says that doctors must report concerns about child neglect or abuse even if they have only a “hunch” that something is wrong. It advises that GPs treating patients must consider whether a child is being abused even if they have not seen them, and mothers with post-natal depression and other serious mental health issues and people with drug or alcohol problems warrant further questioning about the welfare of children. The guidance comes into effect on 3 September 2012.  


Joint inspection of multi-agency arrangements for the protection of children

This consultation, which includes an online survey, seeks views on the proposals for these new inspections which will focus on the effectiveness of local authority and partners’ services for children who may be at risk of harm, including the effectiveness of early identification and early help. In addition, these inspections may trigger inspection activity by Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate. It closes on Tuesday 2 October 2012.   

Inspection of services for children looked after and care leavers

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission seek the widest possible range of views from those who have an interest in, or expertise relating to, services for children and young people so that the inspection arrangements take proper account of the needs and circumstances of all interested parties. The consultation includes an online survey and closes on 18 September 2012.

Commission on a Bill of Rights

This second consultation seeks further views on whether or not a UK Bill of Rights is needed, and if so, what its form and content might be. See paras 52-54 for children’s rights. It was launched on the 11 July 2012 and closes on 30 September 2012  

 Draft Care and Support Bill now open for comments

The Department of Health is seeking views on the draft Care and Support Bill. The public can explore the Bill and comment online using the new draft Care and Support Bill site. The new site allows the public to contribute to the largest overhaul of the law around adult care and support in 60 years. This is the first time the Department has invited online comments on a Bill, at this stage, in this way