Youth work and social care news from around the world
Links from around the world of youth work and social care:
- Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils’ experiences at school: The BBC reports that the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee has heard evidence from experts pointing out that bullying, racism and feeling left out of the curriculum are major factors in low school attendance rates among children and young people from the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) community. The Women and Equalities Committee is holding an inquiry to look at inequalities faced by the GRT community.
- Child development from birth to two years: Community Care has published a short guide to child development from birth to two years. The guide is aimed at social workers involved with families who need to be aware of children’s typical developmental stages and processes.
- Child abuse image offences: The NSPCC has released figures from a freedom of information request sent to 43 police forces across England and Wales, and a formal request for information from police forces in Northern Ireland and Scotland, asking them for the number of recorded offences for indecent images (still or moving) of children. Figures show that 22,724 offences were recorded in 2017/18, an increase of 23% on the previous year.
- Healthy and unhealthy relationships: Childline has launched a campaign to help young people understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships, and help them identify signs that their relationship might not be quite right. ‘Looking out for Lottie’, an eight part series, follows a fictional character Lottie who gets into an unhealthy relationship, showing how grooming can happen without realising it.
- Care applications fall 5.7 per cent over two years: Cafcass has published its monthly care application statistics for England. In August 2018, Cafcass received a total of 1,179 new care applications. This figure is 5.1% lower than August 2017.
- Children and young people’s mental health: Researchers from University College London, Imperial College London, University of Exeter and the Nuffield Trust have published findings from research looking at trends in mental health problems in children and young people. Analysis of data from 140,830 participants aged 4–24 years from 36 national surveys in England, Scotland and Wales found that: in 2008, 3% of 4-24 year olds in England and 3.7% in Scotland said they had a long-standing mental health condition, with 2.9% of 4-24 year olds in Wales saying they had received treatment; by 2014 these figures had grown to 4.8% in England, 6.5% in Scotland and 4.1% in Wales; boys aged 4-12 were consistently more likely to report a long-standing mental health condition than young girls.
- Sharp rise in young people overdosing: The Guardian reports that research carried out by the University of Nottingham medical school looking at patterns and trends among 10–24-year-olds across England who overdose on painkillers and antidepressants. Findings from a study of 1,736,527 young peoples’ GP and hospital records from 1998 to 2014 include: 40,333 poisoning episodes were identified, of which 66.5% were recorded as intentional; and there were increases in poisoning incidence rates of between three- and fivefold for opioids, antidepressants, aspirin and paracetamol over the study period.
- Child arrests in England and Wales: The Howard League for Penal Reform has published a research briefing on child arrests in England and Wales. Analysis of freedom of information data from 43 police service areas in England and Wales and the British Transport Police shows that: there were 79,012 child arrests in 2017, a 68% reduction from 2010 when there were 245,763 child arrests; there were 616 arrests of primary school-aged children in 2017.
- Schools and colleges: survey of pupils: The Department for Education (DfE) has published a report on findings from wave 4 of the omnibus survey of school pupils aged 11-17; college students aged 16-17, and their parents/ carers in England. Findings from more than 3,000 survey responses include: 20% of school pupils and 12% of college students reported being a victim of bullying at school or college at least once a month in the last year; and 79% of school pupils and 78% of college students said that their school/college has a specific member of staff that they can talk to if they have a problem or worry.
- Children’s social care services: raising concerns with Ofsted: Ofsted has published revised guidance on how to share concerns about children’s social care services in England with Ofsted and what they will do with the information. The guidance has been revised to include all concerns, rather than just whistleblowing.