A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

‘Give the elderly room for

Older people in care homes should be able to have sexual
intercourse in special private rooms, according to a charity

A new guide on care homes published by the Relatives and
Residents Association suggests special designated rooms are vital
in helping couples maintain a loving relationship when one of them
has to go into a residential care home, and the other remains in
the family home.

The need for continuing intimacy and sexual relations does not
cease with age or infirmity according to the author of the book,
Julia Burton-Jones.

“One in 10 people in homes are still married, often in marriages
that have lasted 50 years or more. The separation when one of them
has to go into a home is devastating,” she said.

She continued that visitors often felt reluctant to ask to go to
a private part of the home, in case staff frowned upon the

‘Involving Relatives and Friends’ warns care home
managers against excluding partners and relatives of residents, and
to avoid telling spouses not to visit during the settling in
period. Burton Jones recommends that food and refreshments should
be made readily available to encourage visitors, including children
and grandchildren.

Source:- The Times Tuesday April 17 page 5

£2m-a-year problem as single mothers pour

An influx of Somali single mothers into Britain could cost the
country’s taxpayers up to £2 million a year, it was
revealed yesterday.

Social services in Birmingham are finding it difficult to cope
after an estimated 200 families have settled there, with the number
growing by 30 a month.

The refugees claimed asylum in Holland and hold Dutch passports,
which allow them to live in Britain as EU citizens.

Social services have been hit hard by the influx, but still face
budget cuts of more than £12 million.

Len Clarke, Tory social services spokesperson, said: “It’s
out of control and we’re having to reduce vital services for
vulnerable residents.”

The home office compensates local authorities for supporting
asylum seekers, but the Somalis are classed as ‘non-habitual
residents’ meaning bills for their welfare benefits, rent and
education go to the taxpayers.

The refugees are predominantly single mothers granted asylum in
Holland 10 years ago after escaping Somalia’s civil war,
which still continues.

Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday 17 April page 6

Teachers take hard line on violence

The National Union of Teachers threatened strike action
yesterday to protect staff from violent and disruptive

Delegates at the union’s conference in Cardiff endorsed a
tougher stance over pupil exclusion and voted for government
targets for reducing exclusions to be scrapped.

The NUT has previously taken a less hardline view of pupil
exclusion than rival unions, particularly the National Association
of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, which will debate the
issues at a conference in Jersey and is likely to endorse a similar

The NUT leadership threatened strike action last November if
headteachers refused to exclude pupils or if appeal panels
overturned judgements.

In a survey by NUT’s Gravesham branch, 11 out of 42
schools said they had pupils who should be excluded due to
behavioural difficulties.

The government, however is committed to reducing the 12,700
exclusions from school in 1996-7 by one third in 2002.

Education secretary David Blunkett has been forced to revise
guidance on exclusion.

An Education department spokesperson said: “The secretary of
state has made it clear that where headteachers feel the need to
exclude a child that judgement must be upheld.”

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday April 17 page 4

Scottish newspapers

Stigma lives on in mental illness

One in three sufferers of mental illness tell no-one or only a
select group of friends according to a recently published report by
the Mental Health Foundation. The report – Is Anybody There?
– claims that stigma remains a great pressure on those
suffering from mental illness. A third of friends only become aware
of the mental illness after the sufferer has been hospitalised, and
a further 5 per cent when the person tried to commit suicide. Yet
of those with mental illness, 75 per cent cite friends as the
greatest source of help compared with 57 per cent citing key mental
health services.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 17 April page 6

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