News round up: Councils struggle to find social workers

Councils struggle to find social workers after Baby P case

Two in three councils are already reporting serious difficulties in recruiting and retaining children’s social workers, with at least one in ten jobs unfilled, The Times has learnt.

Council chiefs fear that after the Baby P debacle the situation will only worsen, with potential recruits put off by the bad publicity surrounding the Haringey case. Continuing shortages could jeopardise safe practice because of delays in case allocations and care assessments, they said.

Read more on this story in The Times

Baby P: MPs to question chief inspector of schools on how to protect abused children

MPs will ask the Chief Inspector of Schools how the authorities can better protect abused children like toddler Baby P.
Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Social workers are better now at child protection

On one level, the extraordinary furore over Baby P’s death is an understandable response to an appalling human tragedy. But in many respects, the social reaction and government response have become part of the problem rather than the solution.

Read more on this story in Society Guardian

Mother Jael Mullings charged with stabbing her two baby sons

A mother will appear before magistrates in Manchester this morning charged with murdering both of her children.

Jael Mullings was arrested after the bodies of two-year-old Romario Mullings-Sewell and his brother Delayno, aged three months, were found at their home in Kilmington Drive, Cheetham Hill, on November 12.
Read more on this story in The Times

‘Back door’ amnesty for 180,000 asylum seekers who slipped through the net

Up to 180,000 asylum seekers are to be granted a ‘back door’ amnesty to live in Britain.

They include failed refugees who should have been deported, and migrants whose claims were never even concluded by the Home Office.

Instead, their files were lost or left unfinished as the asylum system went into meltdown.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Parents who locked up daughter escape jail sentence

A judge compared a couple to characters from Dickens after hearing how they treated their teenage daughter like a slave and locked her up in her room each night.
The 15-year-old was starved of food, love and attention and banned from playing with her younger siblings or reading books  –  her major passion.
For years, she was forced to use an outside toilet and her bedroom was regularly searched to make sure she had not hidden any school books, a court heard.
Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Benefits to be paid only to job hunters

Unemployed people will have to prove that they are taking practical steps to return to work in return for state benefits, under changes to the welfare state to be announced by ministers today.

The only exceptions will be carers, parents of very young children and anyone who is severely disabled.
Read more on this story in The Times

Poverty puts children at higher risk of accidents

Children from poorer families are far more likely to die or be harmed than their better-off counterparts, according to research from the World Health Organisation.

While the UK has reduced the total number of children killed or maimed for life in accidents, those born in deprived areas to parents out of work die in greatest numbers in road accidents, fires, falls, poisoning and drowning incidents
Read more on this story in The Guardian

Assisted suicide to be screened

A documentary that appears to show the moment when a man dies after going through with an assisted suicide was strongly criticised yesterday by anti-euthanasia campaigners and a television watchdog.

The film, which is being screened on the Sky Real Lives channel tonight, seems to show the moment when 59-year-old Craig Ewert, who had motor neurone disease, died.
Read more on this story in The Guardian

Barnardo’s ad cleared despite complaints

A TV ad for children’s charity Barnardo’s featuring a girl being repeatedly hit about the head by her father has been cleared by the advertising regulator despite almost 500 complaints that it was distressing and offensive.

The Advertising Standards Authority took the unusual step of fast-tracking its investigation process, which can take several months, after receiving 477 complaints in a number of days about the Barnardo’s ad, which launched in late November.

Read more on this story in Society Guardian

Hundreds of children missing from care homes

Hundreds of children have disappeared from council care homes without a trace during the past 10 years, a damning report into the plight of child “runaways” has found.

Read more on this story in The Independent

Muslim children ‘being beaten’ in madrassas

Muslim children are being beaten and abused regularly by teachers at some British madrassas – Islamic evening classes – an investigation by The Times has found.

Read more on this story in The Times

Caring for young and old: the sandwich generation

They are the “sandwich generation” – middle-aged men and women who are caring for their children and maybe grandchildren as well as their elderly parents.

Their numbers are likely to grow after official figures published yesterday projected a rapidly ageing population, a high proportion of whom will be frail and vulnerable.

Read more on this story in The Times

Star ratings don’t tell us the real story

One consequence of the Baby P tragedy in Haringey is that our confidence in official judgments of what constitutes a good public service has been shaken. Up to now, we have tacitly accepted that the inspection process is essentially sound.

Read more on this story in Society Guardian


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