A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Crucial Climbie paper withheld by top

Vital information from the Victoria Climbie child abuse inquiry
was withheld by a senior government official, because it “did not
occur” to her that it was relevant.

Chief inspector of social services for England Denise Platt told
the inquiry into the eight-year-old’s death, that with
hindsight, she now realised that a key document, commissioned as a
result of Victoria’s death, was relevant to the hearing.

The document suggested that the quality of service provided by
Haringey social services, responsible for the child at the time of
her death, was far worse than had originally been identified.

The material was eventually submitted to the inquiry three weeks
after the oral hearings and therefore too late for Platt or its
authors to be cross-examined on its findings. It was sent seven
months after the Social Services Inspectorate promised to produce
all relevant documents in its possession.

Inquiry chairperson Lord Laming said the inspectorate’s
delay in providing information had caused great administrative
inconvenience, and would hold up the publication of the report by
three months.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 10 July page 7

Au pair ‘broke the furniture in attack on boy,

A male au pair attacked a three-year-old child before turning on
his older brother for intervening, a court heard yesterday.

Hungarian Zsolt Vamos is alleged to have carried out the attacks
on the brothers when he looked after them, and three other children
at their home in the Yorkshire Dales. He stayed in the job for just
nine days.

Bradford crown court heard how Vamos had been recruited to the
short-term post through an au pair agency, and was sharing the
responsibility for the children with a French female au pair.

Simon Kealey, for the prosecution, said Vamos assaulted the
elder boy three times and the youngest twice when he was in the

Vamos denied five offences of assault.

The trial continues.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 10 July page 9

Lord Woolf is blamed for youth custody rise

A rise in the youth jail population has been attributed to the
lord chief justice, who demanded longer sentences for mobile phone

Head of the youth justice board blamed Lord Woolf for the rise
of young offenders in jail and the increase in the length of their
sentences. Lord Warner said Lord Woolf’s comments had
undermined attempts to tackle the root causes of youth crime.

Launching the YJB annual report, Lord Warner said at the start
of the year the number of young people in custody fell to 2,683.
“Then after January we see a rather steep rise.”

“That is around the time the lord chief justice delivered
himself a few thoughts on what he thought should happen to mobile
phone robbers. We then see a very significant rise in the custody
population,” he said.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 10 July page 10

Tories drop pledge on public spending

William Hague’s pledge to match government spending on frontline
public services, such as health and education, has been dropped, it
was announced yesterday.

Iain Duncan Smith said money alone was not the answer to failing
public services.

“Don’t assume automatically that (the government’s)
plans are the benchmark by which everybody else has to be judged,”
he said.

The Tory leader went out of his way to insist he remained deeply
committed to public services, but said people should move away from
the idea that money was the only solution.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 10 July page 8

Cherie Blair hits out at state of crowded

Thousands of inmates should not be inside British jails, Cherie
Blair will declare tonight, having investigated the prison

In a speech to be given in London, the prime minister’s
wife will describe how she visited the country’s most
infamous jails and interviewed prisoners including drug dealers,
young offenders and inmates with mental health problems.

The jail population – there are 300 prison places remaining – is
“crippling” the prison system in England and Wales, she will

In a speech at a lecture, sponsored by the Prison Reform Trust,
Blair will also express her deep concerns at the number of mothers
and young children in jail.

She will urge society in general and the criminal justice system
in particular to favour more community-based sentences as an
alternative to prison.

Source:- Independent Wednesday 10 July page 1

Uncertain time

Care staff worried about sector changes

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 10 July page 4

Mixed blessings

Promotion of human rights declared a charitable purpose

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 10 July page 4

In better company

Business ‘exceptions’ praised for attitude to

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 10 July page 4

Screen break

Plans to get poor communities using the internet have met with
resistance in one former pit village

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 10 July page 5

Built to last

As Emmaus, known for its self-supporting communities of homeless
people, prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary, John
Cunningham reports on debate over the charity’s future

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 10 July page 6

Plus ca change

Social care professionals are increasingly alarmed by reforms
sweeping through the sector; but a new survey carried out for the
shows how many are still upbeat about the fulfilment their work

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 10 July page

Scarred inside

New research into why teenagers self-harm has shed light on the
root of a growing problem

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 10 July page

Friends for the elderly

Help the Aged to sell its care homes and sheltered housing

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 10 July page

Isolated condition

Benefits system unresponsive to the needs of MS sufferers

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 10 July page

Scottish newspapers

Pension ‘buddies’ ease fears of older

An Aberdeen pensioner has set up a ‘guardian angels’ style
scheme to escort older people when they go to cash their

The scheme, in the Tillydrone area of the city, was established
when an older person was mugged earlier this year. It is believed
to be the first service of its kind in Scotland.

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 10 July page 5

Boy’s torso in Thames – woman arrested in

A woman from Glasgow was arrested yesterday in connection with
the suspected ritual killing of a young boy whose mutilated body
was fished out of the Thames in September last year.

It is believed that the woman is in her 30’s, married, has
children and originates from West Africa. She is being held in an
unnamed police station in London. It is the first arrest the police
have made in connection with this investigation.

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 10 July page 1

Tenants vote for new owners

Council housing tenants in Dumfries and Galloway have voted
overwhelming to transfer to the management of the independent
Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership.

More than two thirds of the tenants voted for the transfer of
the 12,300 homes. Dependent on final approval of the first
minister, Jack McConnell, the move will now take place in Spring

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 10 July page 10

Welsh newspapers

How did 17-year-old go missing from unit?

A teenager who fled from a unit for people with “challenging
behaviour” wandered the streets for hours before handing himself

The 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons has
Asperger’s Syndrome and was receiving professional help at
Cefn Carnau, a unit run by Independent Community Living (ICL) on
Caerphilly mountain in south Wales.

He is understood to have left ICL’s nursing home, which is
protected by fencing and security cameras, on Friday 28 June
sometime after 11pm. He was not seen again until he walked into a
Cardiff police station in the early hours of the following

In a statement, ICLs director of nursing Jane Watkins said the
teenager was homesick and wanted to see his family.

The Caerphilly-based care company has a number of homes
throughout south Wales.

Source:- South Wales Echo Tuesday 9 July page 4

Half care homes ‘to close in next six

Half of Wales’s care homes for older people will be forced
to shut in the next six months unless £100 million is injected
into the service, it has been claimed.

Politicians are warning that the sector is in crisis and faces
meltdown without a financial lifeline.

Plaid Cymru health spokesperson in the Welsh assembly, Dr Dai
Lloyd said: ” The situation is approaching meltdown. If nothing is
done, the private sector has told us that half the homes in Wales
will be shut in six months’ time”.

Closures on a massive scale could result in an unprecedented
number of hospital beds bearing the brunt of the day-to-day care of
vulnerable older people. Almost 900 beds in the nation’s
hospitals are already classed as ‘blocked’, as there is
nowhere suitable for the patients, mostly elderly to be

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 10 July page 1 and
comment page 10

Asylum seeker released

An asylum seeker who was detained without warning and was a day
away from deportation, returned home to Cardiff last night.

Milan Simic was reunited with his fiancée Nicola Blake
after she travelled to a detention centre near Heathrow to see him

Blake was asked to supply letters from two referees and
£2,000 in bail in order to secure his release.

Last week following a routine weekly registration at a police
station in Cardiff, Simic was detained and was due to be deported
on Sunday, but a high court injunction put a stop to the

He will now be allowed to continue living and working in Cardiff
while legal wrangling about his future continues.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 10 July page 1











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