Children and Young People Now report that the government has shelved plans to treat all 17 year olds who are taken into custody as children. Under current legislation, 17 year olds who are taken into custody are treated as adults.
Community Care report on the results of two surveys of foster carers and social workers. Findings include: 88% of foster carers say they experience difficulties when working with children’s social workers; and 61% of social workers have felt reluctance to place children in foster care because of concerns about the quality of carers.
Community Care report on the results of a survey of social workers. Findings include: 58% said their caseloads had increased over the past 12 months; and half had seen at least one colleague leave their team over the past 12 months due to high caseloads.
The Scottish Government has launched a new website which offers help and support to vulnerable children and families on child protection issues. It includes information on what to do if there are concerns about a child, and information and downloadable materials for children.
The Department for Education has issued a press release stating that Ofsted will no longer have to produce an annual assessment of each local authority children’s services. This follows the repeal of section 138 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006.
Summary: Looks at risk factors for neglect by fathers in families where both parents lived in the family home. The report looked at a sample of two-parent families, from a birth cohort study of 1,089 families, when the target child was aged three and five. Finds that rates of paternal and maternal depression are twice as high in families in which neglect is present, and that father-related risks for neglect remained statistically significant after accounting for maternal parenting risks. Concludes that interventions helping fathers seek treatment for depression could help reduce the risk of neglect.
Publication details: Child Abuse and Neglect (Vol.36, Iss.5) May 2012 pp 461-469
Authors: Lee, Shawna J.; Taylor, Catherine A.; Bellamy, Jennifer L.
Summary: Presents findings from research which aimed to: investigate the relative influences of parental postnatal depression and marital conflict on child outcomes and to attempt to determine the pathway(s) of risk; investigate the impact of two types of antenatal stress (parental depression and marital conflict) on child outcomes; and, determine the relative contributions of antenatal and postnatal risk. Parents were asked to complete both the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and a marital conflict scale. Child outcomes were assessed at 42 months. Findings suggest that screening and intervention programmes targeted at parental depression and marital problems should be considered antenatally, as well as postnatally.
Publication details: Child: Care, Health and Development (Vol.38, Iss.4) July 2012 pp 520-527
Authors: Hanington, L.; Heron, J.; Stein, A.; Ramchandi, P.
Summary: Presents findings from research which aimed to assess the impact of childhood abuse history, domestic violence experiences and mental health symptoms on the parenting behaviour of mothers in Japan who have separated from violent husbands or partners. Results suggested that mental health symptoms are associated with a decrease in parenting quality. Concludes that the treatment of mental health symptoms, particularly dissociative and depressive symptoms, therapy for childhood abuse history and separation from violent husbands or partners might be effective ways to enhance the quality of parenting in Japan.
Publication details: Child: Care, Health and Development (Vol.38, Iss.4) July 2012 pp 530-537
Summary: Looks at the impact of parenting stress and childhood experiences of abuse on mothers’ maternal sensitivity. Assesses a sample of 291 mothers as they interacted with their 16-month old infants in the home. Finds that parenting stress increases the likelihood that a history of maltreatment links to decreased maternal sensitivity.
Publication details: Child Abuse and Neglect (Vol.36, Iss.5) May 2012 pp 433-437