Councils ‘neglecting families in need’

March 22, 2017 0 comments

children in care

The child protection departments of councils around the country are increasingly neglecting families in need, MPs have claimed. Instead of intervening in the lives of problem familes at an early stage, reports the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children, cash-strapped local authorities are increasingly focusing solely on the most serious cases of neglect and abuse….

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Care hearing abandoned following “inadequate” reports

March 14, 2017 1 comment

child protection

A Family Court Judge has abandoned a care hearing, denouncing “wholly inadequate” assessments by social workers. Sitting at the Liverpool Family Court, Mr Justice MacDonald demanded that new assessments be conducted of potential carers for a baby girl. The council would have to explain its earlier failures in the case, the Judge insisted. The case…

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‘Absent’ vs ‘missing’ for children in care

March 13, 2017 0 comments

children in care

The Police regularly mishandle reports of children going missing from care, an international charity has claimed. Too many forces class children in such circumstances as ‘absent’ and therefore not at risk it believes. According to a recent National Crime Agency report, only a little number of regional forces routinely give children who run away from…

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Care applications fell in February

March 13, 2017 1 comment

children in care

Cafcass received 1,134 care applications during February – a significant fall of eight per cent over the same month last year. Nevertheless February was still the second busiest on record for the advisory service. No less than 13,242 care cases were referred between April last year and February. This has already exceeded the total number…

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Council exemption plans dropped by government

March 3, 2017 1 comment

family law

The government has abandoned draft legislation which would have allowed local councils to opt out of their child protection duties. The plans were included in the Children and Social Bill currently making its way through Parliament. They were intended to allow ministers to explore the value of outsourcing and consolidation in child protection services but…

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Scotland to introduce emotional child abuse law

March 3, 2017 3 comments

family law

Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) are considering a bill which would define and criminalise the neglect and emotional abuse of children. The measure was introduced by Early Years Minister Mark McDonald of the Scottish National Party (SNP). He said the Children and Young Persons Act, first enacted in 1937, contained “archaic language … [which]…

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Poor children ‘ten times more likely to be taken into care’

February 28, 2017 1 comment

family life

Children who live in poor areas are a startling ten times more likely to be taken into care, according to new research. Working with social research organisation the Nuffield Foundation, academics from English, Scottish and Welsh universities examined the life histories of more than 35,000 children who were either in the care system or who…

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Son of murdered mother taken into care

February 22, 2017 0 comments

family law

The three year-old son of a woman murdered by the child’s father has been taken into care. Mr Justice Moor declared that the Family Court had “enormous sympathy” for the boy in this “tragic case”. The child, only identified as ‘LT’ in the judgment, “will need very careful support in the years ahead” especially given…

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Social workers are ‘marginalised’ in court

February 16, 2017 1 comment

social workers

Work conducted by social workers before cases reach court is frequently ignored, a council has claimed. In a new report, Barking and Dagenham Council in East London claims reluctance to accept such work caused delays in care proceedings, blaming these for its failure to meet government-prescribed timetables. The report declares: “Work undertaken prior to a…

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Child protection exemption plans are ‘dangerous’

February 10, 2017 0 comments

children in care

A prominent professor of social work has condemned plans to allow councils to opt out of child protection. Professor Eileen Munro of the London School of Economics conducted an official review of the child protection system back in 2011 and has since been cited by the government as a supporter of controversial plans to allow…

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