Youth work and social care news from around the world

Links from around the world of youth work and social care:

  • SEND complaints: guide for young people: The Department for Education (DfE) has published guidance for young people aged 16-25 in England who are unhappy with their special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision or support at school or college, and need help and guidance on how to resolve disagreements.
  • UK Youth Parliament surveyThe UK Youth Parliament has launched a Make your mark survey of the views of young people aged 11-18. Young people are invited to take part in the ballot to decide what members of the UK Youth Parliament should debate and vote on to be their campaign in 2019. The survey closes on 10 October 2018.
  • Vulnerable young people: The Home Office has published a summary of the 11 local authority-led projects in England receiving grant funding from the Trusted Relationships Fund to help youth workers, police, nurses and other professionals working with vulnerable young people aged 10-17 who are at risk of child sexual abuse, criminal exploitation or peer and relationship abuse.
  • Revised Police & Criminal Evidence Act Codes of Practice (PACE): Changes to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act Codes of Practice, codes C (detention), H (detention – terrorism), E (audio recording of suspect interviews) and F (visual recording of suspect interviews), came in to force on 31 July 2018 including changes that are of particular significance to children and young people.
  • New unit to tackle exploitation of vulnerable young people: The Department for Education (DfE) has announced plans for a new national response unit to help local authorities in England support vulnerable children at risk of exploitation by criminal gangs. The new unit, which will operate from 2019 up until 2022, will address child sexual exploitation together with other crimes, such as gang and drug activity, which exploit vulnerable children and can lead to children going missing.
  • First ever study of serious case reviews of sudden unexpected infant deaths: The research was conducted by academics at the University of Warwick who aimed to develop a detailed understanding of the circumstances of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) cases subject to serious case review.  Key findings include: domestic violence, mental health problems and substance misuse highlighted as factors; most cases occurred when intoxicated parents shared sleeping surfaces with child; and many happen following a sudden change in family circumstances.

Disability inclusion: Why it’s about more than a ramp

Kay Morgan-Gurr who is a fantastic children’s evangelist, has written a brilliant article following on from the Archbishop of Canterbury hosting a cutting edge disability conference at Lambeth Palace on July 13th called ‘A Place to Belong‘:

The heart for change was alive and well, but for change to happen this heart also needs to be alive and well in those who were not at the conference. We need change where the rubber hits the road, and I’m worried that the outcomes of this will only reach the already convinced and not the people who really need to hear it. …

It’s often the case that many churches – though not all – think inclusion begins and ends with a ramp. Most will provide for those of us with wheels, but even then some do it badly. In their minds, they’ve already ticked the discrimination box.

Disability is diverse, in both the range of disabilities and the type of support needed. There may be practical inclusion adjustments in a church, but the attitude is poor. This is why many in the disability community use the term ‘belonging’. It’s much more than inclusion. To quote John Swinton, who was at the conference, ‘Belonging is being missed when you’re not there.’ Or in my own words, it’s being missed for who you are, not a sigh of relief because the disabled person hasn’t turned up.

Go read her full article here.

People with disabilities share the moving ways their partners show love for them

People with disabilities have been sharing their partners’ actions that show them just how much they’re loved — actions that are “different from the way abled people show love.”  Get the tissues at the ready, this is emotional.

The conversation was started by Imani Barbarin, a disabilities activist and creator of the #DisTheOscars hashtag, which calls attention to the lack of disability representation in the Academy Awards.

Barbarin asked people with disabilities to share “some of the physical ways your partner makes you feel loved that are different from the way abled people show love.”

Twitter user @Shqueeebee wrote that when she was “first in the hospital” she wasn’t able to hold a pen to write her name on her medical consent forms. “I’m Greek and my armpit hair grew longer than I ever wanted so my sweet guy offered to shave them for me because I couldn’t,” wrote @Shqueeebee.

Twitter user @Jkcanaan, who uses a wheelchair, wrote that their partner pushes their chair “no matter how hot it is outside.”

“He always makes sure to give me the right number of pain pills for my headaches,” they wrote, adding that he also pops their joints back into place for them.

Disabilities activist @4WheelWorkOut — creator of #disabledwomanism — tweeted that her partner touchers her “scars and stubs.” “I used to flinch bc scars and stubs. But that’s one way I knew he loved me,” she wrote.

Go check out the hashtag for more powerful writing.

Children’s and youth work links

Here are some links from around the world of children’s and youth ministry:

  • A smart church has young people at the highest levels of leadership: Marko writes passionately on what if our churches saw the powerful benefit of including 16 – 25 year olds in every aspect of congregational leadership, including oversight groups and planning teams? And what if this inclusion wasn’t merely in order to raise up future leaders, but was born out of an understanding that we are better with young people as part of our process?
  • 7 Ideas that will help you connect with busy volunteers: so much of my role is in the way I engage with volunteers.  This post had some helpful ideas that I will be taking back and talking with my volunteers to see what I could do differently that would work better for them.
  • Actress-turned-activist Emma Watson narrates inspiring short film on women’s equality: Using footage from the women’s 100m hurdles at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the short film highlights the obstacles women have faced and continue to encounter in the battle to achieve equal rights.
  • A creative solution for young people who write on the toilet doors: The Salt House, a pub in Galway, Ireland, was tired of its patrons constantly writing on its toilet doors, so the pub owners came up with a clever solution: a children’s toy.  The pub placed a sign kindly asking customers to not draw on the walls and doors and offered a Magna Doodle (a toy magnetic drawing board) to people who just can’t help their artistic urges.
  • Where Justice and Mercy Meet: Kay Morgan-Gurr writes a brilliant blog reflecting on her reactions to Sally Phillip’s documentary “A World Without Down’s Syndrome” – well worth taking a few minutes to read and consider your own thoughts.

Enabling Church No Limits conference

Enabling Church No Limits conference

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An Enabling Church conference from Churches for All

An event full of ideas & inspiration for all who work with or support children, youth & families plus anyone with a passion to see the abilities of everyone recognised.

Although primarily aimed at both volunteers and professionals working in children, youth and family ministries, those working in a more general pastoral capacity would also find the day to be helpful and inspiring.

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When: 
Saturday 12th November 2016 • 10am – 4.30pm

Where: Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London

Cost: Early Bird Price £20, From 8th October £25.

Contact: enabledchurch@gmail.com

Book: http://enablingchurch.eventbrite.co.uk

Assistance: If you need assistance with booking or accessibility advice call 01372 749955 (Through the Roof)

Download: No Limits flyer (PDF)

Follow this link for the Conference Programme

Download: The Conference programme

Follow this link for Workshop info

Follow this link for Speaker Biographies

How to support siblings of children with additional needs

Caring for siblings of children with special needs

This is a brilliant blog post by Phoebe on the challenges siblings of children with additional needs go through.  Read and share this with others:

“She ruins everything!” I said to my mom when I was six and my big sister bumped into an art project I’d been working on all day.

And again when I was twelve and she wanted to hang out with me and my friends at my slumber party.

And again when I was seventeen and she snuck upstairs when I was watching a movie with a boyfriend.

Being fourteen months younger than my sister with Down syndrome wasn’t always easy. We were a grade apart in school, in a town where everyone knew everyone else. I was occasionally referred to as “Syble’s sister” instead of by my own name. When people made jokes about the kids on the short bus or “retards” I had to decide if I was going to stand up for my sister and bring more attention to myself or just let it go. And even at home, I tried to be perfect and low maintenance to make up for the extra work and attention my parents had to put into her.

And that’s why when I look into the eyes of my son David after he’s just said “He ruins everything!” referring to his brother with autism, I get it. I so get it. I get the frustration and the fear. I get the exhaustion and the embarrassment. I relive the moments I had at each stage I went through as a special-needs sibling. And it’s because of that experience I try to remember a few things.

Go read Phoebe’s blog for her advice on what she tries to do for her son, it includes:

  • I don’t shame my typical son for the way he is feeling in the moment.
  • I remind him our feelings can lie to us.
  • I celebrate the accomplishments of both boys.
  • I give him opportunities to grow in areas of interest.
  • I make sure we have one-on-one time together.
  • I say thank you every day.

Teen carries brother for a whopping 111 miles to raise awareness of Cerebral Palsy

Teen carries brother for a whopping 111 miles to raise awareness of Cerebral Palsy

16-year-old Hunter Gandee and his brother, Braden, walked 111 miles — from his hometown of Temperance, Michigan, to the steps of the state capitol.  Hunter carried Braden almost all the way.

The feat was part of the Cerebral Palsy Swagger, an annual walk designed to raise awareness for the disorder. It’s been happening since 2014, when Hunter carried Braden for 40 miles. This trip took the pair five days. They left on April 20 and arrived April 25.

“Our goal is to get the attention of our up and coming leaders, doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs and show them the face of cerebral palsy,” reads the event’s Facebook page.

Organisers hope that increased attention on cerebral palsy will lead to increased focus and innovation when it comes to treating the condition.

This year, Hunter and his companions walked through numerous Michigan towns, stopping every few miles to rest and refuel.  They finally arrived at Lansing’s capitol building on Monday evening.

Amazing artist

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Paul Smith was born in the 1920s with cerebral palsy, instead of allowing that to limit his life, he persevered.  In a society which at that time didn’t support people with cerebral palsy at age 16, he learned to speak, and at 32 he learned to walk.

What’s even more amazing is the way he started to paint using an old typewriter:

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Shop uses mannequins modelled on the bodies of disabled people

Shop uses mannequins modelled on the bodies of disabled people

A fashion mannequin has an implicit message: this form is beautiful.  If your own body doesn’t look like that form—not even remotely—then you may not feel that way about yourself.

The Swiss charity Pro Infirmis helps people with disabilities. To remind them that they are beautiful, too, they commissioned mannequins modelled on the bodies of four people with disabilities. The video below shows the process. Craftsmen measured the bodies of the models, then reshaped mannequins to fit those specifications.

After finishing construction, Pro Infirmis placed those mannequins, now dressed in fashionable clothing, in a storefront in Zurich. Watch the responses of the models and passersby.

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