Links from around the world of youth work and social care:
- Strengths-based social care: The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has published a report, written jointly with Leeds City Council and Shared Lives Plus, describing how strength-based approaches (SBAs) work in children and family settings and how effective they are. SBAs focus on the strengths as well as the needs of children, young people and their families. The report looks at: the key features of SBAs; embedding SBAs in practice; and avoiding pitfalls. SCIE has also published a series of blogs and a video in conjunction with the report, highlighting good examples of strengths-based social care for children, young people and their families.
- Public health approach to tackle serious violence: The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that a public health approach will be used to tackle serious violence in London. The approach, based on a similar initiative in Glasgow, will expand the work of the Mayor’s Knife Crime Strategy to include wider types of violence and look to address the links between violence in the home and on the street. It will aim to deliver early interventions to help prevent the spread of violence and improve coordination between the Metropolitan Police, local authorities, youth services, health services, criminal justice agencies and the Greater London Authority.
- Girlguiding attitudes survey 2018: Girlguiding UK has published its annual report on the attitudes of girls for 2018 entitled ‘We see the big picture: girls’ attitudes survey’. 1,903 girls and young women aged 7-21-years-old took part in the survey from across the UK. The survey included questions about girls’ attitudes on a range of subjects, including: mental health; wellbeing and happiness; periods; education; relationships and socialising and safety. Findings include: 71% of girls knew another girl that had experienced mental health problems; 52% of girls have experienced harassment on the street, or know someone that has.
- UK poverty metric: The Social Metrics Commission (SMC) has proposed a new metric for measuring poverty across the UK, outlined in their report on data for 2016/17. Findings include: 4.5 million children are living in poverty in the UK; overall child poverty has fallen by around 2% since 2001; the child poverty rate (32.6%) is higher than the poverty rate for the whole population (22%).
- UK child welfare inequalities: The University of Huddersfield has published research, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, into child welfare intervention rates in each UK nation. Based on a mixed sampling of 12,412 children on protection plans or registers and 24,477 looked after children across the UK, research found that Northern Ireland has the lowest intervention rates, despite having the highest levels of deprivation.
- Child criminal exploitation: The Home Office has published a new version of the county lines guidance relating to the criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults, for professionals across the UK who work with children. The new version includes a definition of child criminal exploitation, which is common in county lines, noting: it occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18; it does not always involve physical contact and can also occur through the use of technology; and it is broader than just county lines, including children forced to work on cannabis farms or to commit theft.
- Predicting child abuse: A series of articles in the Guardian report that local authorities in England are developing and using “predictive analytics” systems, where algorithms are used to identify families who may need attention from children’s services. The articles report that at least five local authorities have developed or implemented a predictive analytics system for child safeguarding (Thurrock; Brent and Essex; Bristol and Hackney.)
- Update to Ofsted inspection framework for children’s services: Ofsted has updated guidance for inspections of local authority children’s services. Updates include: Ofsted will no longer use the single inspection framework to carry out re-inspections of local authorities rated inadequate, but will re-inspect using a standard inspection framework; and new guidance on producing an action plan for priority action areas after a focused visit. See the full ‘Framework, evaluation criteria and inspector guidance for the inspections of local authority children’s services‘ for more information.