|To coincide with Barnardo’s Fostering and Adoption week, the charity highlighted the following issues: a white child is 3 times more likely to be adopted than a black child; the proportion of children adopted drops from 1 in 3 when a child is under 4 to 1 in 15 when that child turns 5; 40% of children waiting for a new family have some sort of special need.
|Source: Barnardos 21 January 2013|
|The Children’s Rights Alliance for England has published a report assessing how well the Government is protecting children’s rights. Key points from the report include: a child in custody was restrained resulting in an injury requiring hospital treatment on average once a month in 2010-11; and in October 2012, 37% of children in custody were from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, a rise of 3% on the previous year.
|Source: Children’s Rights Alliance for England 22 January 2013|
State of children’s rights in England, 2012 (PDF version)
|In Northern Ireland, a review of lessons learnt from Case Management Reviews between 2003 and 2008 has been published. Analysing 24 reviews into the death or serious injury of 45 children, key recommendations include: services becoming involved with families at an earlier stage; services staying involved with families for longer to consolidate improvements; access to therapeutic services for children to address the psychological harm of poor parenting.
|Source: BBC Online 24 January 2013|
Translating learning into action: an overview of learning arising from case management reviews in Northern Ireland 2003-2008 (PDF version)
|NSPCC: Northern Ireland Policy and Research Unit|
|An article in the Guardian reports research discussed at the Oxford Media Convention suggesting that 34% of 9-12-year-olds in the UK have their own Facebook page. This is despite Facebook rules that users must be over 13. Simon Milner, Facebook’s director of policy, admitted at the event that they do not have a “mechanism for eradicating the problem of underage users.”
|Source: Guardian 23 January 2013|
Information on the Oxford Media Convention
|The Department for Education (DfE) has announced a new adoption strategy and funding package aimed at reforming the current system in England. The objective is to speed up adopter recruitment. The strategy proposes new legislative action which would require local authorities to outsource adoption services if their recruitment process is taking too long. In addition, the £150 million Early Intervention Grant topslice will be returned in full to the local authorities in the form of the Adoption Reform Grant.
|Source: Department for Education 24 January 2013|
Further action on adoption: finding more loving homes (PDF version)
|In Scotland, the Early Years Collaborative, a coalition of over 750 early years experts from social services, health, education, police and the 3rd sector gathered to begin work towards their aim of improving children’s starts in life. Objectives include: by the end of 2016, ensuring that 85% of children meet all expected developmental milestones at their 27-30 month health review; by the end of 2017, ensuring 90% of children have reached all developmental milestones by the time they start primary school.
|Source: Scottish Government 24 January 2013|
|The NSPCC and ChildLine are using the Do Some Good mobile phone app to run a survey about people’s attitudes towards the ChildLine Schools Service. The ChildLine Schools Service sends volunteers into primary school to teach pupils about how to keep themselves safe from abuse. The Do Some Good app allows people to “micro-volunteer” by spending five minutes providing information to help charities.
|Source: NSPCC Website Read more about volunteering for the ChildLine Schools Service|
Download Do Some Good onto your Smartphone
|The NSPCC has posted a Request for Proposal (RFP) for research on the impact of online sexual abuse on the victim. Responses should be submitted no later than 5pm on Friday 13th February 2013.
|Source: NSPCC Inform 25 January 2013|
Social workers and students to be trained on human trafficking
Frontline professionals across the UK are to be given training on how to identify and help child and adult victims of human trafficking, as part of a new Home Office initiative.
Social workers and students completing the social work degree across the UK will soon be given training on human trafficking, the government has announced.
The Home Office has awarded more than £70,000 in grants to the NSPCC, Stop the Traffik, Eaves, Thames Reach and the Counter Trafficking Bureau to provide training to those professionals most likely to encounter victims of trafficking in their day-to-day work.
The aim is to improve awareness and understanding of trafficking and to help professionals identify potential victims and give information on the practical support available, such as independent legal advice and counselling.
Experienced anti-trafficking practitioners will also provide information on referring suspected victims to support agencies including the UK’s victim identification and support system, the National Referral Mechanism (NRM).
Students will be given training as part of their course, while formal training programmes and workshops will be integrated into practising social workers’ professional development modules and delivered in Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Brighton and London.
Immigration minister Mark Harper said: “We have already made significant progress in the fight against trafficking, with more work than ever before to prosecute criminals and stop organised gangs in their tracks.
“But we are not complacent and training for frontline professionals is vital in order to identify and protect those at risk of harm.”
John Cameron, head of the NSPCC’s helpline, added: “This funding will help us train professionals who form the crucial first line of defence against this dreadful crime.
“It’s an extremely positive and welcome move by the government which will help strengthen child protection and bolster the battle against trafficking.”
Raising awareness among frontline professionals was a key objective set out in a report by the government’s Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group in October 2012.
Strengthening action in this area also supports the introduction of theEU directive on human trafficking, which comes into effect from April 2013.
In 2011, 946 potential victims of human trafficking were referred to the NRM. Of these 712 were adults and 234 children, up from 524 and 186 respectively in 2010.
Source: Community Care
Most child abuse deaths last year were ‘avoidable’
Nearly two-thirds of children who died as a result of abuse last year could have been saved, a damning report has claimed.
Campaigners have accused the Government of failing to protect the rights of children after they revealed that 65 per cent of child-abuse deaths in England could have been avoided.
The report, published by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), found that a total of 43 children died as a result of “deliberately inflicted injury, abuse or neglect” in 2011-12.
Paola Uccellari, director of the CRAE, said the findings showed there was “a massive question mark over the Government’s commitment to children’s rights”.
“The Government’s lack of progress is not surprising when we find out that it is flouting its own promise to check whether its policies breach children’s rights,” she said.
The United Nations told the UK in 2008 to improve its children’s rights in 118 areas – the CRAE found that in 31 per cent of recommendations conditions have worsened for children.
In its 2008 assessment, the UN said British children are at risk of being treated unfairly because of a “general climate of intolerance”.
Among its findings, the CRAE said more than 3,000 foster children are estimated to have gone missing in the year up to March 2012.
It said “a lack of resources” was behind a number of the problems facing children’s rights but it added that “a lack of money is not an excuse for the Government’s failure to secure children’s rights”.
Shadow children’s minister Lisa Nandy said: “CRAE’s report shows the Government is failing children by not fulfilling its own commitment to routinely assess the impact of its policies on children’s rights.”
She said policies were being “pushed through without any thought as to the impact on children”, meaning their needs were “often invisible and their rights are undermined”.
Source: Independent Newspaper