A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Marriage means nothing to many modern

Statistics have revealed that 40 per cent of babies are now born
out of wedlock, showing that marriage is becoming increasingly
irrelevant to modern parents.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the
number of births outside marriage has been accelerating

When information was first collated in the 1850s only 6 per cent
of all births were born outside wedlock. This rose to 10 per cent
in 1970 and 30 per cent by 1990.

The report in the latest edition of population trends suggests
that couples, who have their first child outside wedlock, are less
likely than before to get married before having more children.

More than half of all children born to unmarried couples in
2001, were the second, third, fourth or subsequent children in the
family, compared to 40 per cent in 1980.

Source:- The Times Friday 28 June page 6

Leave condoms for kids, parents told

The parents of teenagers should leave condoms around the house
where they can be easily accessed, according to the latest
government plan to tackle teenage pregnancy.

The government endorsed a list of “tips and hints” for parents
yesterday on how best to approach safe sex.

The list suggests that parents draw up a list of local family
planning centres and telephone numbers and give them to their
children, or display them in the house.

It adds that parents should warn children of the dangers of
having sex under the influence of alcohol.

The tips, which have full support of the Department of health as
part of the government’s Involving Parents in Preventing
initiative, have been drawn up by the charity Parentline Plus.

Source:- The Times Friday 28 June page 6

Murder case patient was ‘calm and

Mental health experts, who refused a man treatment and sent him
home just hours after he was suspected of stabbing a woman to
death, said yesterday that he had appeared “calm and settled”.

Doraj Miah gave no indication that he might have sexually
assaulted and stabbed someone, according to staff at St
Clement’s mental health hospital in east London. He was
assessed by a nurse, who then told him to go home.

Miah, 19, was arrested yesterday morning as he made his way
towards his home at Barkingside, Essex, after police took the
unusual step of naming him as their prime suspect.

The body of Hazel Prager was found earlier this week in

Source:- The Times Friday 28 June page 7

More new mothers are committing suicide

The main cause of death among pregnant women and new mothers is
suicide, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Most of the deaths were among highly educated professionals aged
30 or over. The majority of suicides were “violent”, and the
majority of new mothers committed suicide before their
child’s first birthday.

Consultant in perinatal psychiatry at Queen’s Medical
Centre in Nottingham, Dr Margaret Oates, said the problem was
increasing and needed to be taken more seriously.

Some of the deaths could be avoided if health workers were more
alert to risk factors, she said.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 28 June page 9

CCTV failed in mental health unit rape

The mental health unit where a woman was allegedly raped last
week admitted yesterday that CCTV footage could not help identify
the attacker when he entered the building because the tape had run

The West London Mental Health NHS Trust admitted the CCTV
recording equipment had not been effective yesterday.

The woman was attacked on Friday in her private room at the unit
in Ealing.

Source:- The Independent Friday 28 June page

Boy, 13, admits four indecent assaults

A 13-year-old boy admitted yesterday that he had committed four
indecent assaults, and he used his school uniform to trick his way
into his victim’s homes.

The boy was remanded into care at the Old Bailey for
pre-sentence reports. The crown accepted his not guilty plea to two
charges of attempted rape and two of burglary with intent to

Source:- The Independent Friday 28 June page

Scottish newspapers

Executive gives go-ahead for youth courts

The Scottish executive has announced plans to create youth
courts and special children’s hearings in a 10-point strategy
to tackle youth crime.

Jack McConnell, first minister, said that the new courts and
hearings would have a wider range of measures at their disposal.
Electronic tagging of persistent offenders is to be reviewed and a
three-month, high profile police clampdown is to start in

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 28 June page 1

Welsh newspapers

Hundreds of children are sex offenders

The children’s charity, Barnardo’s Cymru is calling
on the Welsh assembly to support a national strategy to prevent
young sex offenders from becoming adult abusers.

Figures from police and local authorities show that there are
hundreds of children that are already sex offenders, and the
charity says its cutting edge Taith project is already successfully
working with almost 80 young people each year.

The charity also says that one third of all recorded sexual
offences in England and Wales are committed by people under the age
of 18, and research shows that up to 50 per cent of adult sex
offenders began abusing children when they themselves were

Taith project leader Pat Duke said that the work was firmly
focused on child protection and the prevention of further offences
and she added that the programme could serve as an effective model
for similar projects throughout Wales.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 28 June page 1

Murphy backs joint fight against drugs

The fight against illegal drugs in Wales is prompting the
government to consider giving the principality more control over
law and order.

Home secretary David Blunkett has so far resisted calls for
control over the police to be transferred to the Welsh assembly,
but there is an acknowledgement from the Wales office at
Westminster that the assembly has a key role in tackling drug

The new-found readiness to see law and order issues shared
follows a call from assembly deputy health minister Brian Gibbon
for an-Wales strategy on drug misuse.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 28 June page 2

Rough sleepers back on streets

Rough sleepers in Newport in south Wales will be back on the
streets as the doors of a shelter opened only three months ago
close for good.

Newport Action for the Single Homeless (NASH) opened the night
shelter in March, but a hoped-for grant of several thousand pounds
from the Welsh assembly failed to materialise.

NASH director Richard Frame said that he was angry and
distressed after the assembly had switched its funding to other
activities within the homeless sector in Wales.

Newport East assembly member John Griffiths, who officially
opened the shelter, said that he was extremely concerned and would
be calling for a meeting with the minister responsible for funding
the shelter, Edwina Hart.

He added that he would be asking her where the funding had gone
and what could be done to solve the problem.

Source:- South Wales Argus Thursday 27 June page 7 and
editorial page 22










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