Tens of thousands of UK teenagers neglected at home, report says

Survey of year 10 pupils suggests one in seven experience some form of neglect, risking their physical and emotional health.

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A survey commissioned by the Children’s Society found that one in seven 14- and 15-year-olds had experienced at least one form of neglectful parenting, the equivalent of three to four students in every year 10 classroom.

Emotional and supervisory neglect were the joint most common forms reported by year 10 pupils and the former was associated with teenagers being more likely to engage in risky behaviour.

Those who said they had experienced emotional neglect were more than twice as likely than their peers to have got drunk recently, nearly three times as likely to have smoked and more than twice as likely to have skipped lessons.

Neglected teenagers were also significantly more likely to be dissatisfied with their lives, pessimistic about their futures and lacking confidence in their abilities. Children who reported frequent support from parents were more likely to have higher levels of wellbeing. Young people who were materially deprived were more likely to be neglected than their peers.

The Children’s Society said that the problems stem partly from an incorrect perception that teenagers needed less care and support than younger children. It wanted to see better support and advice for parents bringing up adolescents.

The Children’s Society chief executive, Matthew Reed, said:

“No child should be left feeling that no one cares about them. Teenagers are often seen as more resilient than younger children. But of course they still need care from their parents to meet their needs, support their education and keep them safe.

“Our research makes clear the central role of parental care and emotional support to the wellbeing of young people. With little dedicated advice readily available for parents of teenagers, we need to provide more support to parents bringing up teenagers, not to blame them. The government has a massive role to play in making sure the needs of teenagers, and their parents, are never forgotten. Society must not give up on teens.”

Recommendations in the report, published on Tuesday, include parenting classes for families with adolescent children, training on understanding adolescent neglect for frontline education, health and youth justice workers and more work to enable young people to recognise neglectful situations and know what help is available.

The University of York polled a representative sample of about 2,000 young people aged 12 to 15 in 72 schools for the report, asking them about their experiences of being cared for by their parents.

Number of children in poverty increased by 250,000

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The number of children living in poverty soared by 250,000 in just one year under the Conservative-led Government, new figures have shown.

HM Revenue and Customs figures obtained by the Daily Mirror show the number of children living in low-income families rose from 2.5m to 2.75m between 2013 and 2014.

This meant that during the last Coalition Government the proportion of children living in families which have fallen below the poverty line reached one in five.

The HMRC report defined children in low-income households as those from families in receipt of out-of-work benefits or those in receipt of tax credits with an income of less than 60 per cent of the national average.

It said the figures were down to rise in lower incomes failing to keep pace with the rise in higher pay and insisted the data did not reflect a real terms fall.

But campaigners accused the Government of failing to protect vulnerable children.

Woman wins year of free pizza, donates it to youth homeless centre

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Hannah Spooner, a 19-year-old Detroit resident, was delighted to discover she and her boyfriend had won a year of free pizza after entering a raffle at Little Caesar’s.

But instead of keeping the pies for themselves, they donated them to Covenant House, a nonprofit that offers shelter, classes and three square meals a day to homeless, runaway and at-risk youth.

Spooner told a local FOX affiliate that she always knew she’d donate the pizza if she won — even when her boyfriend asked her whether she’d keep just a couple of pizzas for herself.

She said:

“I just know there are other people out there who have nothing.  And I don’t think I should be eating a year’s worth of free pizza when there are people who go hungry at night.”

7-year-old Syrian girl live-tweeting her life in Aleppo

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Bana is just 7 years old but she knows how to tweet.  A video posted on her Twitter account @alabedbana shows her back as she stands in front of a window, long hair flowing on a green jumper and fingers in her ears. Loud bombs can be heard in the distance, in the Aleppo night.

“Hello world, can you hear that?” she asks.

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“I am very afraid I will die tonight. This bombs will kill me now. – Bana,” she signs off.

Over the past few weeks, Bana Al-Abed and her mum Fatemah have offered a new, damning perspective on the daily life of those living under the bombs in Syria’s second city. Besieged Eastern Aleppo, controlled by rebel forces, has witnessed an unrelenting shower of bombs by Russian and Syrian military jets.

As the bombs fall, Bana and Fatemah send tweets.

One of the very first tweets depicted Bana at her desk with a book and her doll in the background. “Good afternoon from Aleppo,” the caption read. “I’m reading to forget the war.”

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Another photo showed the rubble of a bombed building and the caption: “This is my friend house bombed, she’s killed. I miss her so much.”

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Syrian children use bomb crater as makeshift swimming pool

Life under siege: Children in Aleppo use bomb crater as swimming pool

More than 2 million people in Aleppo have no access to clean water as the conflict in the Syrian city continues to escalate, according to UNICEF. But that hasn’t stopped some children from playing around in a murky pool that has formed in a crater left behind by a missile strike.

 

Children accidentally added to the menu of wedding dinner

The moment when are “kid’s menu” becomes “children on the menu” rather than “a menu for children”.

A fancy wedding accidentally made that less-than-fancy mistake on RSVP invitations they sent out. In a photo uploaded to Reddit’s r/funny, the RSVP card asks you, sir or madam, for your name, whether you’ll be attending, and whether you’d like to eat beef, pork or young children (12 and under) for the entrée.

Just check off your favorite dish, and let them know about any dietary restrictions. They’re free range, completely organic and just a bit whiny.

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Refugees’ lifejackets have been turned into a ‘graveyard’ outside parliament

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More than 2,500 lifejackets that were actually worn by migrants who crossed from Turkey into Europe were placed in front of the U.K.’s Parliament today to raise further awareness about the global migrant and refugee crisis. The project was created by various charity and humanitarian groups to correspond with a meeting of world leaders at the U.N. to discuss the ongoing crisis.

This year alone so far, at least 3,212 refugees and migrants have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea.  Deaths are occurring more frequently this year than in 2015, according to the most recent figures reported by the International Organization for Migration.

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The installation — which was supported by refugee charities — intends to remind leaders of “the need for solidarity with refugees” and to encourage “international responsibility sharing”.

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Celebrities recite poem about refugee crisis in powerful video

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Celebrities are taking a public stance to support the #WithRefugees campaign.

Today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released a video featuring several actors including Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightley, Kit Harington and Jesse Eisenberg, performing a powerful spoken word poem entitled, “What They Took With Them.”

Faith leaders call for revised refugee policy

 

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More than 200 leaders of faith communities have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister, Theresa May calling for urgent changes to the government’s refugee policy, particularly to allow families to be reunited.

The signatories are headed by Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, who will give a speech on Monday in front of an audience of faith leaders and refugees to reiterate the letter’s demands.

Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, the former lord justice of appeal, has added her name to the letter, which is also signed by leaders and representatives of the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities.

The interfaith letter follows similar initiatives by 350 judges and lawyers, who wrote to the then prime minister, David Cameron, last October; 120 senior economists in January; and 27 humanitarian and refugee organisations, also in January.

Suicide in England and Wales

10 September 2016 is World Suicide Prevention Day.  It serves as a call to action to individuals and organisations to prevent suicide.

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The World Health Organisation estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year, that’s 1 person every 40 seconds.

There were 5,199 suicides registered in England and Wales in 2015.  Read the full overview of the latest suicide registration statistics.

Little girl’s adoption hearing has a Disney twist!

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5-year-old Danielle Koning was already in for a pretty incredible day when she arrived at her final adoption hearing. Thanks to a thoughtful surprise, it became really magical.

To celebrate the girls’ adoption, foster care staff members at Samaritas in Grand Rapids, Michigan, dressed as Disney princesses for the final proceedings.

The judge even dressed as Snow White.
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Danielle’s case manager, Kristina Grey, is the brains behind the whole operation. According to MLive, she first asked a coworker to dress as Cinderella (Danielle’s favorite Disney princess), then decided an all-princess affair was in order.
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“I’m just blown away at the amount of support and how much all my co-workers jumped on board,” she said.
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Danielle is now at home with her adoptive parents, Jim and Sarah Koning.

You can watch full video of Danielle’s big day below: