A summary of social care news

Internet ‘abuser’ jailed

A housing officer who used the internet to invite people to
abuse and rape a young girl was jailed yesterday for
seven-and-a-half years.

Bournemouth crown court heard how Donald Ripley befriended the
teenager and helped her set up an internet site. He turned against
the girl when she rejected his advances, and hacked into the site
posting her address on there and an invitation to rape and abuse

The girl who suffers from ME was forced to move home after she
was bombarded with obscene emails from all over the world and
received visits from several men. Ridley admitted 25 offences
including publication of obscene material. He also admitted
possessing and distributing almost 100 pornographic images of

Ridley’s victim who cannot be named for legal reasons is
still receiving psychiatric treatment for the damage caused by his

Source:- The Times Wednesday 14 March page 5

Children of working mothers ‘at

Children whose mothers work full time are more at risk of
unemployment and psychological stress, according to research
published today by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

More than 1,200 young people born in the 1970s were studied by
Essex University academics to investigate the links between
parents’ patterns of work and children’s

The results found that children of mothers who worked full time
during most of the pre-school years did less well at A level
education. If mothers worked for 18 months of those years, the
children had a 64 per cent chance of passing an A level. This
percentage fell to 52 if the mother worked for an additional

Longer periods of full time working increased the probability of
unemployment when the child reached adulthood from 7 to 9 per cent.
The chances of psychological stress also rose from 23 per cent to
28 per cent.

John Ermisch, co-author of the study, said: “The implication of
our findings is that if parents have less time to spend with young
children before they start school, there may be long term

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 14 March page 6

Payout to jailed asylum seekers

The government could face costs of millions of pounds after two
asylum seekers, who were imprisoned, have been awarded a total of
£80,000 in the first rash of claims.

The married couple from Albania were awarded £40,000 each
after they spent three months in prison after being convicted of
travelling on forged passports.

In 1999, a high court ruled that prosecution of asylum seekers
for using false papers breached Britain’s obligations under
the 1951 Geneva Convention on the status of refugees. The home
office could now face a barrage of claims.

The court delivered a strong message to Jack Straw and the crown
prosecution service that many people were in jail as a result of
no-one giving ‘the least thought’ to article 31 of the
convention, which states that asylum seekers should not be
penalised for entering a country illegally.

The couple have since been accepted as genuine refugees and
granted permission to stay in Britain indefinitely.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 14 March page 8

Paedophile spy paroled

A GCHQ spy jailed for 35 years for selling secrets to the Soviet
Union has been released from jail having served half his

Geoffrey Prime was arrested for molesting girls before he
admitted to his espionage activities. He was sentenced to three
years for indecently assaulting three girls aged between 11 and

Prime was moved from high security Whitemoor jail in
Cambridgeshire in July to Rochester prison in Kent. It is thought
GCHQ was consulted as to whether he remained a security risk.

Officials said he would be registered as a sex offender.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 14 March page 9

Jobless falls below million for first time in 25

The government will be given a pre election boost as
unemployment will drop below the one million figure today for the
first time in 25 years.

The jobless figures will be the lowest since the mid seventies
when the country suffered high inflation and industrial unrest.

The figures will be used by Tony Blair, chancellor Gordon Brown
and education and employment secretary David Blunkett to publicise
new measures, to urge the long term unemployed back into work, if
Labour wins a second term in power.

The number of people claiming benefit fell to 1,004,800 in
January paving the way for today’s announcement. Unemployment
peaked at three million in 1986.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Wednesday 14 March page 1

DJ Prince gets the mix for the homeless

The Prince of Wales marked the 25th anniversary of
his charity The Prince’s Trust demonstrating his DJ skills
yesterday at a centre for the young homeless.

The Prince wanted to mark the occasion by spending time with the
disadvantaged young people the trust aims to help.

Wearing earphones, the Prince exclaimed “Dig that crazy rhythm”
as he mixed and scratched ‘Don’t smoke the
Reefer’ by DJ Kline with Little Man by The Lost Boys at
Centrepoint’s homeless shelter in Kennington, south

The visit emulated Price William’s stint as a DJ on
Chile’s Radio Tortel during his Raleigh International
expedition last year.

Since it was founded, the trust has helped 400,000 youngsters
and hopes to raise £40 million during its silver jubilee.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Wednesday 14 March page 13

Guardian Society

Des res charity

Almshouses have been here for centuries, providing homes for a
fortunate few. And they are hardly going out of fashion yet.
Christopher Middleton on sheltered accommodation with a

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 14 March page

Fast-track attack

Local authorities warned to speed up ‘best value

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 14 March page 4

Plugging in

Survey aims to fill charities’ IT gaps

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 14 March page 4

It’s toff at the top

Eton hits top 100 charities index amid public benefit debate

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 14 March page 4

Mixed metaphor

Alison Benjamin on why it took an American academic to trace
Tiger Bay’s history or proving that racial harmony
isn’t just a dream

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 14 March page 5

Harsh troth

In Britain’s Muslim community, marrying close relatives is
normal. But a genetic backlash is hitting children. Janet Haslam on
the public airing of a delicate issue

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 14 March page

Testing ground

For four years, Labour has been trying new policies and digging
deeper in the public purse to deal with crime, health, education,
and poverty. During that time, BBC’s Newsnight has been
carrying periodic reports from one front line of deprivation
– the Ordsall and Langworthy estates in Salford, Greater
Manchester, which have been a focus of improvement initiatives. Now
BBC2 has made a series of documentaries on the impact that Tony
Blair’s ideas have made. Here, four key professionals working
in the area give John Cunningham their verdict.

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 14 March page

Personal insult

Stresses and responsibilities are increasing – but pay
isn’t. David Brindle on the alarming problems of home

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 14 March page

Shocking neglect

Mind report criticises use of ECT without proper consent

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 14 March page

Scottish newspapers

Social workers top absence league

Absenteeism among social workers in Glasgow Council is the
highest among public sector staff throughout Scotland new figures
for the local authority have revealed.

Between July and December last year absence levels rose by 14
per cent with sickness levels running at 50 per cent above the
council’s average. In the same period Glasgow Council issued
539 absence warnings to social work staff – 60 per cent of
the total issued for all of its 11 departments.

Last night public service union Unison said it was considering
industrial action in the city’s residential child care
facilities because of the stresses, which led to the absences.
Yesterday, councillors were told that Glasgow faced difficulties in
recruiting adequate numbers of social workers and required to
advertise continually.

A spokesperson for the council said that social workers had to
face some of the most distressing problems in society and added:
“It is not surprising that caring and conscientious staff can be
deeply affected by the circumstances of some of the clients they
deal with on a day-to-day basis.”

Ronnie O’Connor, director of social work, is to appear
before councillors to explain the level of absence among social
work staff.

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 14 March page 1








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