A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Protesting Kurds taunted by mob

Kurdish refugees were pelted with stones and taunted by gangs of
youths as they marched in protest at the murder of asylum seeker
Firsat Yildiz.

The 22-year-old was stabbed to death in what police believe may
have been a racially motivated attack.

Hours after Kurdish refugees staged a silent vigil outside
council offices, Sighthill estate residents held a
counter-demonstration claiming refugees are treated better than
council residents of the estate.

The Kurdish protesters believe the estate has become a dumping
ground for more than 2,000 asylum seekers. They criticised the
council for receiving £20 million from the government to
shelter refugees, but spending nothing on improving conditions on
the estate.

Local families say there has been 70 race related attacks on
refugees living in the area in the past 14 months.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 7 August page 4

A tragedy waiting to happen, say critics of dispersal

The murder of Firsat Yildiz in Glasgow was particularly
depressing for many refugee welfare workers, because the city had
become one of the better aspects of Britain’s asylum seeker
dispersal system.

Glasgow did not feature strongly as a destination when the
dispersal system was initially set up. But the Scottish city made
strenuous efforts to welcome the 3,500 asylum seekers who were sent
to live on deprived estates in empty council flats.

But despite efforts of Glasgow council, welfare workers believe
the dispersal system is not what was originally outlined by home
office ministers

It was promised that asylum seekers would be sent to “cluster
areas” where there were existing ethnic minority groups who could
support asylum seekers. It was also guaranteed they would not be
left isolated on hard to let sink estates.

Robina Qureshi, of Scottish housing charity Positive Action in
Housing, said: “The government must have known that bringing empty
council houses into use for asylum seekers would result in mass
concentration of asylum seekers and fuel racial tensions in already
deprived council estates.”

“Asylum seekers should have a say in where they are relocated.
They need to be in areas where they feel safe,” she added.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 7 August page 3

Kent has 1,200 child asylum-seekers in care

More than 1,200 child asylum seekers arriving in Britain without
a parent or guardian have been taken into care by Kent social

The influx of unaccompanied minors has soared over the last two
years and department of health figures show 6,000 children across
England are in care, compared with 2,500 in 1999.

In Kent, the problem is more astute and there is a stream of
more than 100 children arriving each month.

Professional traffickers are to blame for most of the children
brought from Middle Eastern or Eastern European countries.

Peter Gilroy, Kent council’s director of social services,
said: “Some who arrive are as young as eight, while more than 60
per cent are aged 16 or 17, or claim to be so. Many have suffered
or witnessed persecution and might be bereaved or anxious about

Younger children are placed in foster placements while teenagers
are placed in shared lodgings where social workers support

Source:- The Independent Tuesday 7 August page

New rules to speed adoption

National standards on adoption will be announced by the
government today, alongside a national register designed to speed
up the matching of children with families who wish to adopt.

Jewish charity Norwood Ravenswood is expected to win the
contract to operate the register, which ministers hope will enable
local authorities to find families further afield if adoption
cannot be arranged locally.

The prime minister has expressed his wish to increase the number
of children adopted since the report on abuse at children’s
homes in north Wales.

The government has pledged to increase adoptions from local
authority care by 40 per cent.

The new standards on adoption were published in draft at the
same time as the white paper on adoption last December.

Children were included in the working group to produce the
draft, co-ordinated by British Agencies for Adoption and

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 7 August page 8

Young killers await sentence ruling

The court ruling that helped James Bulger’s killers win
their freedom could result in three young murderers having their
sentences reduced today.

Lord chief justice Lord Woolf will announce whether he has
decided to revise the original minimum sentence that Darren
Dermody, Bernard Coddington and Tahir Malik must serve before their
release is decided by the parole board.

In December 1999 the European court of human rights ruled that
the minimum sentences for child killers should be decided by the
lord chief justice, and not the home secretary.

It was this ruling that allowed Robert Thompson and Jon Venables
to be released after eight years and not 15, the original decision
made by former home secretary Michael Howard.

Dermody kicked and stamped a man to death, Coddington got into a
“fight to the death” with another boy whom he killed over a dispute
over a former girlfriend, and Malik, a disturbed teenager with
learning difficulties, strangled a nine-year-old boy.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 7 August page 9

Scottish newspapers

Double standards claim on care funding

Scottish Care has accused Scottish local authorities of double
standards on funding residential care of older people as it was
revealed that one council has increased charges for privately
funded residents in council-run homes by between £84 and
£122 per week.

The move, by Argyll and Bute Council, comes at a time when the
Scottish executive has offered only £10 per resident per week
extra for those in privately run care. Douglas Hendry, director of
housing and social work, said that care in Argyll and Bute cost
more because of the remoteness of the area.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 7 August page 4

Murder forces change of policy on dispersal

The murder of a young asylum seeker, Firsat Yildiz, at the
weekend has forced Glasgow Council to rethink its policy on
dispersal within the city.

The change came on the day that council representatives met with
asylum seeker and refugee groups following civil demonstrations in
the city at the weekend. Now asylum seekers will be accommodated in
a range of areas throughout Glasgow rather than mainly Sighthill
where half are now housed.

Parkhead and Knightswood have already been identified. Glasgow
Council will now ask other Scottish local authorities to accept
asylum seekers and refugees. So far, of Scottish councils, only
Glasgow provides accommodation. The proposals have already received
the backing of the Scottish executive and the Commission for Racial

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 7 August




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