Too many children being taken into care says social services chief
Too many children are being taken into care in Birmingham because social workers lack basic information or the skills to judge whether youngsters are really at risk of abuse or neglect, the man appointed to shake up the city’s social services has claimed. If staff were forced to be over-cautious it was “inevitable” that children would end up in residential care who did not deserve to be there, Colin Tucker said.
Read more on this story in The Birmingham Post
Shoesmith launches legal challenge against Ed Balls
Sharon Shoesmith launches her legal challenge against the man who removed her from her job in the wake of the Baby Peter tragedy – the children’s secretary, Ed Balls – in the high court this morning. The former director of children’s services at Haringey council in north London was formally sacked by her employers in December last year, a week after Balls used emergency powers to force her replacement.
Read more on this story in The Guardian
New child safety unit to help social workers
A new national child protection unit was launched yesterday aimed at providing specialist guidance for social workers across the country. The Multi-Agency Resource Service (Mars) is the first of its kind in the UK and will help staff dealing with difficult and complex cases.
Vaccine may help treatment for cocaine addiction, study finds
Scientists in Texas who have completed early trials on a vaccine for cocaine dependence believe it shows promise in the treatment of addiction to the stimulant. The experimental vaccine was given to about 60 volunteers over a 12-week period, with a similar number receiving a placebo
Read more on this story in The Guardian
Couple who went on run with foster daughters arrested over abuse allegations
A couple who spent four months on the run with their two foster daughters after social workers tried to take them away 11 years ago have been arrested on suspicion of physically abusing the girls. Jeff and Jenny Bramley penned a moving letter to the press while in hiding with the sisters in 1998 after social services told them to hand them back.
Read more on this story in The Times
Troubled, violent lives of girls in suicide pact
A disturbing picture of the lives of two teenage girls who killed themselves by jumping off the Erskine Bridge emerged yesterday as attention turned to the care home where they spent their last hours. Neve Lafferty, 15, and Georgia Rowe, 14, gave friends no indication of suicidal thoughts in the days before they escaped from the Good Shepherd Centre, in Bishopton, Renfrewshire, to leap 125ft (40m) holding hands to their death in the River Clyde.
Osborne bets the election on public sector pay
The Conservative Party will risk the wrath of four million public sector workers at the general election by proposing to freeze their pay as it seeks a mandate for big spending cuts. In a major political gamble, the shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, yesterday unveiled a £7bn-a-year cuts package that includes a pay freeze in 2011 for all public sector workers earning more than £18,000 a year.
Read more on this story in The Independent
Depression ‘can double chances of becoming obese
Those who suffer from the conditions over long periods of time are particularly at risk, researchers warn. One in four Britons are now classed as obese and doctors warn that being heavily overweight can increase the chances of developing a range of diseases including diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Husband of nursery paedophile Vanessa George recovering at home after ‘suspected suicide attempt’
The husband of paedophile nursery worker Vanessa George is recovering at home today after a suspected suicide attempt. Andrew George, 41, downed a cocktail of alcohol and pills at the home he shared with his wife.
Harman’s law will be ‘green light to camps for travellers’
Gipsies and travellers are to get special favours under planning guidelines when Harriet Harman’s equality law comes into force, ministers admitted yesterday. They said travellers will receive preferential treatment because of the ‘many socio-economic disadvantages’ they face.
Read more on this story in the Daily Mail