Big news and links from the world of social work:
Statement on new EU ePrivacy rules and the implications for children: The Children’s Commissioner for England has published a statement on new EU ePrivacy rules and the implications for children. The new EU ePrivacy rules introduced new limits on the way in which technology companies can use messaging and calling data. The statement highlights that the rules undermine the ability of companies to use established, privacy-preserving tools to identify child sexual abuse imagery and grooming on their platforms.
Sharing nudes and semi-nudes: advice for education settings working with children and young people: The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the UK Council for Internet Safety have published guidance to support designated safeguarding leads and senior leadership teams and others working in education settings in England in responding to incidents involving the sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and safeguarding children and young people. The guidance covers: risk assessing incidents; safeguarding and supporting children and young people; handling devices and imagery; recording incidents; and providing education on the sharing of nudes and semi-nudes.
Children and young people’s health: The Chief Medical Officer has published their annual report for 2020, looking at health trends and variation in England. Findings from the chapter on children and young people’s health include: smoking rates and alcohol intake have declined; the prevalence of mental health disorders has increased; and hospital admissions due to self-harm have increased.
Child Poverty dashboards: The House of Commons Library has published a dashboard for child poverty (before housing costs) showing constituency-level data for relative and absolute child poverty in the UK. It includes data from 2014-15 onwards, and allows comparison between constituencies.
Thousands of children sent to unregulated care homes amid Covid: The Guardian has published an article looking at the use of unregulated care homes, often known as supported accommodation for young people over 16 in England and Wales. Figures from a Guardian investigation based on data from 114 councils show that 8,373 children have been placed in semi-independent accommodation during the pandemic and more than a third of these placements (2,844) were out of the local authority area.
Support for Care Leavers: The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper giving an overview of the UK Government’s policies to support care leavers. The briefing covers: strategies and funding; the impact of the coronavirus pandemic; social services support for care leavers; housing; education and training; health services and social security benefits.
Children living in temporary homes increased by 75% in a decade: The Observer reports that the Labour party has analysed figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which show that the number of children without a permanent home has increased by 75% in a decade, from 72,590 in the second quarter of 2010 to 128,200 in the first quarter of 2020.
State of Health Visiting in England: The Institute of Health Visiting has published findings from its annual survey of health visitors in England. Findings from responses to the survey from 862 health visitors include: 82% reported an increase in domestic violence and abuse since the coronavirus pandemic began, 81% reported an increase in perinatal mental illness and poverty, 61% reported an increase in neglect and 45% report an increase in substance abuse.