15th March 2018
Birth families and adopted children: A review into the role of social workers in adoptions, commissioned by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), has concluded that Adoption law should be overhauled to ensure children can retain close contact with their birth families. The review, said that severing ties with birth families can have a detrimental effect on children’s emotional wellbeing and can lead to identity issues. The BASW has now said that it will, “call for a review of adoption law in all countries of the UK into whether the assumptions about severance of connection to families of origin is ethical”. Read more, in a report published by Children & Young People now, on 2 March here.
Open Consultation – Domestic Abuse Bill: The Home Office and the Ministry of Justice are consulting on the government’s approach to dealing with domestic abuse and are seeking views on the legislative proposals for the draft Domestic Abuse Bill. The consultation sets out the government’s approach to dealing with domestic abuse including improving support services for victims of domestic abuse and their children. Responses must be made before 31 May, Further information, and links to both the full and the short version of the consultation can be found here.
Reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect: The government has published a summary of responses and government action following the Reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect consultation carried out between July and October 2016. As a result of the consultation the government does not intend to introduce a mandatory reporting duty or duty to act at this time. Read more, from the Department for Education, Home Office, published 5 March 2018, here.
Free Impact Assessment Tools
A range of free impact management tools for small and medium-sized UK charities and social enterprises have been launched online. Charities will be find resources to help with planning, data and organisational culture. The online tool also has a ‘data diagnostic’ test that will generate tailored recommendations on what data you could collect to better understand and demonstrate your effectiveness.
The online tools will be hosted by the Impact Management Programme, a joint digital venture delivered by a range of organisations including NCVO, The Young Foundation, Social Enterprise UK, NPC and Social Value UK.
1st March 2018
Impact of cyberbullying on children’s mental health
An inquiry by The Children’s Society, YoungMinds and MP Alex Chalk has shown that:
In total, 39% of young people reported having personal experience of online bullying in their lifetime, in contrast to 49% who reported experience of off-line bullying.
27% of young people reported personal experience of online bullying within the last year.
In total, 60% of young people reported having seen somebody be harassed or bullied online.
An overwhelming majority of young people surveyed (83%) said that social media companies should do more to tackle cyberbullying on social media, whilst only 6% of young people disagreed with this.
The inquiry makes several recommendations for government and social media companies including:
The Government should improve accountability by requiring social media companies to publish data about their response to reports of online bullying
Social media companies should prioritise the promotion of children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing across their platforms
The Government should commission additional research into the scale of online bullying, and its impact on children and young people
The Government should put children’s experiences at the heart of internet safety policy development
National Safeguarding Month
UK Youth has produced a set of resources and calls to action for National Safeguarding Month which starts on March 1st. It includes calls for organisations working with young people to review their safeguarding practices and pledge to improve safeguarding policies and standards. It’s using #KeepMeSafe to raise awareness of the campaign.
27th February 2018
Free On-line Resources for Essex Young People on Emotional Health & WellbeingWeb based resources are provided for Essex young people to access for free:
Big White Wall offers support to 16-18 year olds www.bigwhitewall.co
My Life is an online support built by young people www.mylife.org.uk
Kooth, is a new online counselling service for young people, recently commissioned across Essex. www.kooth.com is a free, confidential, safe and anonymous way for young people aged 11-26th birthday to ask for help from a team of highly qualified and experienced counsellors and support workers. This is a service that has been commissioned by Southend, Essex & Thurrock CCGs, for all young people who live in Southend, Essex & Thurrock to be able to access.
Through the ESCB website colleagues can access a range of information and link to other resources – http://www.escb.co.uk/en-gb/safeguardingtopics/mentalhealth.aspx
EYPDAS (Choices) – http://www.essexlocaloffer.org.uk/listing/essex-young-peoples-drug-and-alcohol-service-eypdas/
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31st January 2018
Councils to investigate state of the SEND system
As the April 2018 deadline approaches for the transfer of all children and young people with SEND statements to health, social and education care plans, councils have launched an investigation into the state of SEND system. Having expressed concern that rising demand for support for children and young people has not been mirrored by increased funding, councils are struggling to cope. The Local Government Agency task and finish group are expected to deliver their findings in September 2018.
Child protection concerns for homeless young offenders
HM Inspectorate of Probation has published its annual report finding that one in three homeless young offenders, aged 16 to 17 years, are placed in unsuitable and unsafe temporary accommodation by councils. The report blamed this on a lack of suitable accommodation or joined-up working between support agencies and professional’s tendency to treat this group of children as adults. Calling for an end to this practice, inspectors said greater recognition of this group’s needs as vulnerable children, the majority of whom have experienced trauma and being in care, was required.
In response, Alison Michalska, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said: “We take our duties to look after vulnerable young people seriously but finding suitable accommodation in the midst of a deepening housing crisis against a backdrop of falling budgets is the reality we face.”
Free campaigning guidebook published for charities
Freedom to Campaign, a free guidebook to campaigning within the Lobbying Act, has been published for charities by Campaign Collective. The 12-page guide explains what charities can and can’t do. It includes five quick tips, which are:
Stay focused: If you have a campaign underway, it is unlikely to be covered by the Act
Stay neutral: Don’t be party political, and don’t publicly shame politicians who don’t support you
Stay within the law: Check out the public and purpose tests
Stay clever: There are plenty of campaign tactics not covered by the Act
Stay on top of time: Keep records of time and expenses spent on regulator
Child poverty: The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has published a report looking at poverty rates, including poverty among children in the UK, and how figures have changed over the past 20 years. Findings reveal that poverty levels are starting to rise again, and reached 30% in 2015/16. Almost 400,000 more children are now living in poverty than in 2012/13.
Homelessness: Shelter has published a report on the experiences of homeless children in emergency accommodation. In this year, which has seen the highest number of children in a decade, they spoke to both parents and children living in emergency accommodation. Two thirds of parents found that accommodation was inadequate for their needs, with some parents struggling to keep their children warm and clean. Children reported an impact on school work, and friendships.
Times will be tough for charities in 2018. A solid strategy is more vital than ever
Charity leaders are fighting hard to save their organisations. But they also need to think about the future – and how best to deploy the scarce resources they have. The end of one year and the start of the next is a time for reflection, resolutions and a chance to do things better.
Read the full story here
Jeremy Hunt is drawing up a strategy to support children being raised by alcoholic parents (https://healthwatchessex.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=66177cf00c5d70e380a97e0d4&id=59eab7fa4e&e=42e0baae95) , following Labour MP’s story.
The government has just published its Green Paper on transforming children and young people’s mental health provision , which may be of interest to you. A link to this is below:
Safer Essex are supporting the development of a hate crime strategy for Essex which will contain actions for partner agencies to take forward from 2018-2021 to tackle hate crime.
There is a consultation period for community members, service users, and agencies around what the strategy should contain running until 02/02/18.
The press release accompanying the strategy is here.
CHHAT (Community Hidden Harm Awareness Team)
The Community Hidden Harm Awareness Team (CHHAT) is a project of The Children’s Society East, working with young carers across Essex aged 8-19 years who are affected by parental substance use (also known as Hidden Harm).
The Children’s Society East are really pleased to announce CHHAT recently re-secured a further three years of funding, meaning the project can continue to provide valuable support for this group of vulnerable young carers.
Prior to working with CHHAT many of these young carers are hidden within society not accessing the support they need and deserve. Our work involves supporting these young carers in a variety of ways, to help them understand Hidden Harm, and begin to notice and express their feelings surrounding their individual experiences, building resilience and improving emotional wellbeing and safety. .
With young people’s consent professionals can refer individual young people into CHHAT for support via www.childrenssocietyeast.org.uk or by calling 01245 493311. Under 13 year olds also need parental consent. The type of support we offer is determined following our assessment including:One to one support, Group work, Activity days, and Liaising with professionals
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A big thank you to everyone who came to our AGM on the 14th June. We were very excited to welcome over 50 people to the meeting and supper. It means a lot to us that we are able to represent the voluntary youth sector in Essex and we were humbled and honoured by your support at our AGM.
An especially big thank you goes out to our guest speaker Councillor Dick Madden for his funny and thought provoking speech, and to Eileen, Carol and their team of guiding volunteers for an absolutely smashing supper!
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