A summary of social care news from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Catholics urged to set up unit for child

A national child protection unit should be set up by the Roman
Catholic Church to root out child abuse by vetting clergy and
volunteers before they take on new roles.

An independent report published yesterday by Lord Nolan named
this as one of the 50 recommendations.

The unit would ensure those clergy refused work in one diocese,
could not go on and find work in another, as it would be
responsible for a national database of information.

The recommendations aim to bring the Church alongside other
leading secular organisations working with children in the UK.

The review was commissioned by Cardinal Cormac
Murphy-O’Connor, leader of the Catholic Church in England and
Wales, after a series of allegations about child abuse from

Child protection agencies welcomed the announcements and urged
the Church to implement the recommendations hastily.

Lord Nolan launched the review in London yesterday and said:
“The care of children is at the forefront of the teachings of

He added that the Catholic Church in England and Wales should
become an example of best practice in the prevention of child

Source:- The Times Wednesday 18 April page 4

Therapeutic hideaway for wayward priests

Alcoholic, gay and paedophile clergymen are offered counselling
and support at a hideaway retreat in Gloucestershire.

Our Lady Victory, near Stroud is one of the institutions where
wayward Roman Catholic Priests are sent for rehabilitation. These
problems are acknowledged by the Church as a result of a solitary
life of priesthood.

Celibacy is a discipline imposed by the Church, and being gay is
still viewed as a scandal and a sin, hence the need for
institutions such as the one in Stroud.

The horror of child abuse within the church has often been
denied, and therefore little has been done to tackle the

The review of child protection procedures by Lord Nolan will
focus the hierarchy’s attention on ensuring children’s
needs are catered for and their protection ensured.

In the meantime, centres like Our Lady of Victory will continue
to attract criticism. It is believed that up to 30 residents stay
there for between 12 and 18 months.

Michael Hill once stayed there for three months. He was jailed
for five years in 1997 after he carried out indecent assaults on
children while a chaplain at Gatwick in the 1980s. He was appointed
despite complaints that he was a risk to children.

Institutions like these are becoming less popular and the
tendency is moving towards priests being treated for “therapy in a
spiritual context” in secular organisations.

No-one was available for comment at the centre yesterday.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 18 April page 8

Stowaways’ charter

A strike by French security guards yesterday led to more than
100 illegal immigrants entering Britain to claim asylum.

The security guards, who are supposed to stop stowaways from
sneaking aboard the Channel Tunnel trains, had ‘opened the
gate’, according to immigration officials.

Forty-eight immigrants arrived overnight with a further 58
during the day. The number arriving through the tunnel in a normal
24-hour period is in single figures.

Around half of the 120 staff at the freight terminal at
Coquelles near Calais stopped work over a dispute about pay and

The strike comes as a British freight company threatens to stop
its Channel Tunnel service because of fines imposed for illegal
immigrants found aboard its trains.

Source:- Daily Mail Wednesday 18 April page 22

Jails programme

Health services in prisons in England and Wales will be improved
by a £60 million investment over three years from the

The funding will help update health centres, improve training,
tackle infectious disease and set up anti-drugs programmes.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 18 April page 2

Guardian Society

Care places fall

Places in care homes for older people and the physically
disabled fell by almost 10,000 last year.

In the private and voluntary sector, 7,300 places were lost with
a further 2,500 in local authority run homes.

The figures are from Laing and Buisson and demonstrate a decline
for the second successive year.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 18 April page 2

Fresh targets

Jewish charities face ageing problems

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday April 18 page 4

Counting the losses

Care home places falling – but sector is not in a

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 18 April page 4

Shut or bust

As market forces bear down on the social care sector, voluntary
agencies are having to think the unthinkable – and close
failing projects.

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 18 April page

Stigma ties

Would you tell friends if you had a mental health problem? Would
they help? Could they help?

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 18 April page

Early warning system

Initiative to stop child behavioural problems escalating

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 18 April page

Scottish newspapers

Glasgow drugs scheme to be extended

Glasgow is to expand its controversial methadone programme for
heroin addicts in spite of calls to scrap the scheme. Yesterday,
Greater Glasgow Health Board announced that they will extend the
availability of methadone prescriptions to an additional 3,000
people a year. Currently the scheme provides methadone to 3,770
people at a cost of £4.6 million per year.

Last month, Glasgow councillors called for a cap on those being
treated until sufficient support services could be introduced to
help users come off methadone and live drug free lives. The social
work and housing departments of the council along with the health
board have now decided to invest some £1.5 million per year
into support services. Glasgow Council will provide £200,000
and the remainder will come from the Greater Glasgow Health

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 18 April page 4

£8 million invested in winter warmth

More than 950,000 Scots benefited from cold weather payments
this winter worth a total of £8 million according to a
statement by Helen Liddell, the Scottish secretary of state.

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 18 April page 9

Unsafe sex on the increase

Health experts have warned that Glasgow could face worrying
rises in HIV after new research revealed a huge fall in the
city’s sexual health. Over the past six years, gonorrhoea,
regarded as a classic indicator of unprotected sex, has increased
by 350 per cent in Glasgow compared with 50 per cent in the rest of
the UK. The group most at risk are women under 20 years who have
experienced a 17-fold increase in sexually transmitted infections
since 1994. The figures indicate that HIV infections and
infertility are bound to increase rapidly over the next few

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 18 April





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