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.

teenage-boys

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.

Support refugee event with Lord Dubs

oasis-foundation

Join Oasis on the 9th December to listen to Lord Dubs and show your support for refugees:

At Oasis we care passionately about every human being and recently had the privilege of running a safe house that gave sanctuary and security to young refugees who crossed the channel.  We are proud that the UK has been involved in the response to this crisis – but we believe more needs to be done.

The UK Government has pledged to provide sanctuary for a significant number of child refugees but this is now in doubt.

Join Oasis and Lord Dubs – former refugee and author of the amendment compelling Government to help refugees – to take a public stand for a compassionate solution to the crisis and to help the countless children still stranded near the beaches of France.

The event will be a chance to hear from Lord Dubs about what he believes the Government needs to do, to debate and discuss the issues and join together to show our support for refugees.

  • DATE: Friday 9th December 2016
  • TIME: 19.30 – 21.00
  • LOCATION: The Oasis Centre, London SE1 7QP

To book your free ticket, click here:

https://oasis.foundation/events/act-now-refugees-event-lord-dubs

Kids Explain – the Universe, Death, & God

It is well-known that children have excellent opinions on mostly everything. So why not let them tackle the big subjects: the universe, death and God?

In the first episode of Cut Video’s “Kids Explain” series, children weigh in on what God looks like (Spiderman), who they may have been in a past life (not a bug) and what cool stuff is in heaven (doughnuts):

 

People Are Calling This ‘The Most Powerful Christmas Commercial Ever’

Christmas is a time we should spend with family and friends.

But we all have busy such lives. Sadly, that often mean we compromise the time we should be spending with our family. Maybe this is one of the reasons this advert left me in tears.  The advert’s narrative revolves around an old man whose family is always too busy to see him during the holidays.

Well, I don’t know if this is the most powerful Christmas commercial ever, but it’s definitely one of the most watched. The video has garnered over 51 million views on YouTube alone.

 

 

NSPCC warns of ‘blurred boundaries’ between YouTube stars and fans

“Blurred boundaries” between prominent YouTube stars and their young, often impressionable viewers can put young people at risk, the NSPCC has warned.

They have created a helpline for victims and have urged those who watch YouTube videos to:

  • Never share your personal information online
  • Do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know in real life
  • Have conversations with your parents about where you are going and what you are doing online

Many people have come forward in the last few years to accuse a wide range of YouTubers, ranging from popular big names like Toby Turner to smaller creators like Alex Carpenter. Most of these accusations have not resulted in criminal complaints, but they remain archived in the pages of internet history.

Emily Cherry, of the NSPCC, told the BBC in an interview that YouTubers have a “responsibility” to make sure relationships with young fans are appropriate.

Ms Cherry warned that online stars have huge power and influence on young people and the way they think about the real world.  She told BBC Radio 5 live:

“One child told me that checking their social media accounts and what their favourite YouTube stars are up to was as important to them as eating”

If young people have been affected by any issues or need advice on staying safe online, on protecting your children, or as an Internet personality, the NSPCC has a helpline you can call on 0808 800 500 2.

Oasis College to no longer recruit undergraduate and postgraduate students

oasis-college-tweet

I was sad but not unsurprised to hear that Oasis College will no longer be recruiting students to their undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

You can read Adrian Smith’s statement (College Principal) in full here.  Here’s some key parts of the statement:

Unfortunately Oasis College has also seen a steady decline in students, despite having a positive recruitment strategy in place, supported by staff and resources. We have failed to recruit our minimum target of students for a number of years. Consequently this has put a stress on the financial resources available and as a result, the College Board has had to re-consider the future direction of the College.

In the light of the financial implications specifically brought about by low recruitment levels for the current 2016-2017 academic year, the decision was taken by the College Board to no longer recruit to our undergraduate and postgraduate courses. In practice this means that no new undergraduate and postgraduate students will commence studying at Oasis College.

Oasis College will still seek to provide short and continued professional development courses for the foreseeable future and will continue to recruit for these courses.

Changes to the landscape of higher education always made this likely.  Ever since the development of higher fees for undergraduate degrees through the Higher Education Act 2004 universities funding has become increasingly consumer driven.  The top Russell group of universities are able to fund their budgets through a combination of high students numbers willing to pay the higher fees (now £9,000 plus inflationary increases) and large research grants.

For smaller colleges or departments it is impossible to compete because the research funding has often been cut in the more specialist areas not linked to industry (which Brexit will potentially only make worse by losing more EU funding) and they are not able to attract sufficient student numbers to balance the books.

What this means for the future of youth work and youth ministry isn’t clear.  The sector itself is much smaller, but with fewer teaching and research institutions, representing a narrower brand of youth work I don’t see this being a positive step.

 

 

 

 

The danger of an electrical plug socket covers/insert

electrical-plug-socket-cover-insert

In June, the Department of Health published an estate and facilities alert on the dangers of socket safety covers, which states that 13A electrical socket inserts should not be used in health or social care premises, nor supplied for use in a home or residence.

Churches have a duty to keep children safe. Although it is not illegal to use electrical safety socket covers, providers should take into account the advice included in this alert when carrying out their own risk assessment.

Girlguiding launches first awareness campaign

Girlguiding turns to social media – and Unilad – to expose everyday sexism.

girlguiding-campaign

Girlguiding has used negative commentary from media personalities to highlight the everyday sexism that women still suffer in a new video designed to challenge outdated perceptions and to encourage people to see the charity in a more modern light.

#ForTheGirl has been launched in the light of research by the charity that found 70 per cent of 11 to 21-year-old girls believe sexism is so widespread it affects most areas of their lives. The film and campaign directly target women aged 25 to 34, both as role models for the charity’s young members and as a key demographic for future volunteers and parents of girls who might join the charity. The campaign will be aired through a number of channels, including Unilad’s Facebook page.

“#ForTheGirl highlights the level of sexism and inequality girls face in their day-to-day lives and through the mainstream media, and reminds them that they don’t have to accept it,” said Becky Hewitt, communications director at Girlguiding.

“We are calling on everyone to join girls in challenging sexism whenever and wherever they see it to build a fair future for girls everywhere.”

Mike Pilavachi believes the quality of youth workers has gone down dramatically

mike-pilavachi-2016

In a recent Q&A with Youthwork Magazine Mike Pilavachi has some challenging things to say about the current state of youth ministry:

JC: What shifts have you noticed among youth workers over the last 25 years?

MP: Generally, the quality of youth workers has gone down dramatically. I love the Anglican Church but lots of our best youth leaders are now getting ordained and I begged the Archbishop – I went and saw him, and asked: “Please could you establish a diaconate for youth leaders?” We’ve just got to raise the profile of that, otherwise it’s like you do youth work for three years until you’ve practiced with the little people and then you do the proper ministry. We’ve got to break that.

Honestly, loads of youth leaders don’t even know what they believe. And they’re petrified of looking at certain issues – especially sex and sexuality. The numbers of youth leaders after we did a series of talks on sex and relationships who said: “Thank you for doing that because we can’t talk about it”. Really? I asked this years’ Soul61s, which is our discipleship year – there are 25 of them and they’re the ones that raised £6,000 each to spend ten months with us so they’re pretty committed – I asked them back in January: “How many of you have never talked about sex and sexuality in your youth group?” Half put their hands up. Half!

Do go and read the full Q&A.  In his interview with Jamie Cutteridge he talks about his and Andy Croft’s new book Everyday supernatural, the current state of youth ministry and the last quarter-decade of Soul Survivor.