A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom.

Term in jail can be an education

A period in custody often enables young men the only opportunity
for a decent education, according to the director general of the
prison service yesterday.

Martin Narey said many young people received benefits in prison
they would not receive in their community.

He admitted custody should be the last resort, although it did
have some benefits: “But the reality is that once in custody, some
young people are getting their only really serious chance of a
decent education and, with it, the prospect of social

Narey told the annual conference of the Howard League for Penal
Reform that since last April, more than 4,000 qualifications had
been gained by young offenders.

In a report today, former chief inspector of prisons said the
service should develop a strategy for the growing number of older
prisoners held in jail.

Sir David Ramsbotham suggests that the service should contact
social services departments to provide health care for pensioner

Source:- The Times Thursday 13 September page 10

Unions ask Blair for more reassurance

The prime minister has yet to convince trade unions that his
plans for public services do not amount to privatisation.

Tony Blair did not deliver a speech to the TUC conference, but
distributed it to delegates and it reaffirmed his deep commitment
to the public service ethos.

But as the TUC conference closed early out of respect for the
deaths in America’s terrorist attack, TUC general secretary
John Monks said Blair had not managed to convince the unions of the
scope of the government’s plans.

He said: “It’s still a major issue of concern to trade
unionists, and the way it’s been handled so far is not, shall
we say, widely admired.”

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 13 September page 18

Women to benefit in plan to relax rules on

Women fleeing “gender discrimination” will be able to claim
political asylum in European Union member states under rules
proposed yesterday.

Plans to broaden refugee status would cover victims of cultural
persecution in plans by the European Commission.

The text cites the example of female circumcision widely
practised in Africa and the Middle East.

Britain already allows some asylum claims from people fleeing
“non-state” persecution, such as victims of Islamic extremists in

Source:- Daily Telegraph Thursday 13 September page

Grandparents who bring up children ‘need more

Grandparents who bring up their grandchildren are given
inadequate support, a report will warn today.

At least 1 per cent of British grandparents make huge sacrifices
to prevent grandchildren going into care after a parent death or
family breakdown, according to research funded by the home

Many are forced into early retirement so they can look after
children, but are frequently denied benefits and rarely receive
help from social services.

The report, compiled by the Family Rights Group, calls for a
series of measures including the creation of a special benefit or
tax credit to reduce the financial pressure on grandparents.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 13 September
page 18

Britain to help France with Tunnel defences

British security will aid French police to tighten defences in a
bid to curb the flow of illegal immigrants into Britain, under
plans to be announced by the two governments today.

A plan was devised between home secretary David Blunkett and his
French counterpart Daniel Vaillant in Paris last night.

It is likely to mirror the joint patrols at the Eurostar
terminal in Paris. The British people sent to the Calais end of the
Tunnel may be police officers, but details are likely to be
finalised today.

The two governments are also expected to pledge to work together
within the European Union towards a common policy on asylum

Source:- The Independent Thursday 13 September
page 19

Internet anti-porn filters ‘do not

Filtering software on the internet is still allowing pornography
to be accessible to children, according to a study.

Websites giving details of illegal drugs, bomb making and Nazi
propaganda also slipped past devices tested by Computing Which?

Millions of parents in the UK have paid £35 to install
filtering devices on computers but despite using them, the
magazine’s researchers were able to access dozens of sexually
explicit photographs.

Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 13 September page 53

Scottish newspapers

Law firms ‘failing asylum seekers’

The lack of legal support to asylum seekers has been highlighted
by the Law Society of Scotland in a letter to the country’s

The letter says the government’s dispersal programme of asylum
seekers could be jeopardised by the lack of legal back-up for
people seeking asylum status.

Michael Clancy, director of the society, has written to deans of
faculties and presidents of bar associations, the organisations
which represent solicitors.

Some firms which have only handled a few cases in the past are
now dealing with hundreds of clients. There is shortage of
solicitors with expertise in asylum law, and access to interpreters
is also a problem.

Source:- Glasgow Herald Thursday 13 September





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