A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.

Girl abandoned at Tube station ‘to win

A woman, who claims she knows a young Ethiopian girl abandoned
outside a London tube, is being questioned by police.

The 10-year-old girl, who is believed to be a child asylum
seeker smuggled illegally into the country through Heathrow, has
now been formally identified. The girl’s name is Mary Solomon and
she said she had been abducted from her home and put on a flight to

Foster parents have cared for the girl for the past two months
after she was found abandoned outside Kingsbury station in north
London. A mini cab driver took her to social services, who accepted
her into care.

She told police she had been left there for 40 minutes by a
family friend who had escorted her to Britain, but he didn’t

Detective Sergeant Ian Crank who is leading the investigation
said: “Although it does not appear that she has been mistreated, it
is extremely worrying that a 10-year-old girl can be found
abandoned in this way.”

In the past five years, the number of unaccompanied minors in
Britain has increased fivefold. The brunt of the influx of child
asylum seekers has been borne by Kent and Hillingdon local
authorities, which have seen a huge increase of children arriving
at the Channel ports, and Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

The councils then have to provide education, including an
interpreter and extra social services support.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 22 January page 8

No more Sangattes, French promise

The French employment minister denied yesterday that she had
called for more asylum seeker camps to be built, speaking after a
meeting with David Blunkett yesterday.

Elisabeth Guigou said: “I think it is necessary that Sangatte
should, if possible, one day not exist any more. But at the moment
it is necessary because of overcrowding there. But to have them
there in the camp is better than on the streets of Calais.”

The English home secretary described the meeting as
constructive. In the past he has urged the Red Cross camp, where
1,200 asylum seekers are housed to be closed. It is two miles from
the entrance of the Channel Tunnel.

He has complained that they use it as a staging post for
attempts to enter Britain illegally.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 22 January page 10

Volunteer of the year named

The millennium volunteer of the year award has been given to Jo
Smyth of Redhill, Surrey, who has cerebral palsy.

Smyth was named volunteer of the year for her work in bringing
able bodied and disabled people together.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 22 January page 11

Children disabled by vaccines to receive more

The government is to extend the payouts given to families of
children left disabled by vaccines.

Youngsters with less severe conditions will be covered and
recipients will have more time to qualify for payouts.

Previously claims could not be made after the child was
eight-years-old. But the threshold will be upped to 21 because
ministers have received medical advice that some conditions can
take years to manifest themselves.

Children defined as 60 per cent disabled as a result of side
effects from vaccines will be covered whereas the previous minimum
level was fixed at 80 per cent.

Source:- The Independent Tuesday 22 January
page 8

Welsh newspapers
Oliver! More than that no one knows
A three-month-old baby boy was found abandoned in the front garden
of a house in Newport, South Wales, on Sunday night.
The baby appeared to have been well cared for and had been left in
a buggy with bottles, nappies and dummies stored underneath. Gwent
police, who are calling the baby Oliver, say that the child is
They are now appealing for the baby’s mother to come forward. The
baby has been placed with foster parents by social services.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 22 January page 1
Task force in race to save Children’s Society

The task force set up in the wake of the Children’s Society
decision to pull out of Wales must raise £800,000 to save
vital services for children in the Principality.
Christine Walby, who heads the task force, says that services for
children are in danger of collapse unless a rescue package is
agreed by the end of this month.
The task force will meet today in Cardiff, and members may be asked
to consider launching a public appeal to raise some of the
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday January 22nd Page 2
Voluntary sector is missing out on new

The voluntary sector in Wales is suffering from a lack of
up-to-date equipment.
The sector, that boasts around 25,000 groups involved in a wide
range of activities, is having to cope without basic aids like
computers, e-mail and internet facilities.
Graham Benfield, chief executive of the umbrella body Wales Council
for Voluntary Action, said that a solution to the problem needed to
be found urgently. The sector also lacks a maintenance budget and
has an inadequate infrastructure.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday January 22 page 7
Adopt these recommendations, AM urges Health Minister

The minister for health and social services in the Welsh Assembly,
Jane Hutt, has been asked to do more for people with learning
difficulties in Wales.
Liberal Democrat health spokesperson, Kirsty Williams, is urging
Hutt to adopt the recommendations contained in a new report from
the Learning Disabilities Advisory Group.
The report, Fulfilling Promises, says that the target for the
resettlement of people with learning difficulties from long stay
hosptals should be brought forward from 2010 to 2006.
Source:- South Wales Echo Monday January 21 Page 11








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