A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Girl sentenced

A schoolgirl has been sentenced to six years in youth custody
after she tried to murder a girl who she said was bullying her at a
school in Hertfordshire.

The 14-year-old schoolgirl broke into the girl’s family
home at night and stabbed her with a kitchen knife.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 26 March page 8

Ms B to move to unit willing to end her

The former social worker who won the right to have a ventilator
keeping her alive switched off, is to move to an intensive care
unit after Easter to have her wishes carried out.

Her solicitors said they believed she would still want to go
ahead with ending her life despite a suggestion from Dame Elizabeth
Butler Sloss that “if she did reconsider the decision she would
have a lot to offer the community at large”.

Ms B was told the court she was informed by the NHS trust caring
for her that no doctor was willing to carry out her wishes. But MS
B contacted the head of an intensive care unit at another hospital
who was willing to transfer her to his unit to be taken off the

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 26 March page 5

Town prepares to impose curfew on under 15s

A town in Northamptonshire is to be the first in Britain to ban
children under 15 from the streets between 9pm and 6am in a bid to
tackle juvenile nuisance.

The child curfew orders would give police in Corby the power to
take children off the streets and return them to their parents who
would have to explain why they were out. If nobody was at home, the
child would be taken to police protection and passed on to social

Northamptonshire police have stressed the curfews are a proposal
and nothing has been finalised.

Chief superintendent Ian McNeill said: “We need to undertake
further, more detailed consultation with the public and other
agencies in order to ensure that this scheme is both appropriate
and effective in respect of the particular needs of this area of

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 26 March page 7

Childcare gap stops mothers working

Women are being prevented from returning to work after having
children, due to a chronic shortage of childcare, according to a
new study.

The government’s efforts to create more childcare places
and close the gap between supply and demand are failing, according
to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The shortfall, which is worse in England than in any EU country,
is compounded by the high cost of existing childcare provision.

About a quarter of non-working mothers said they would like a
regular job, but are prevented by high childcare costs or lack of
provision, the research found.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 26 March page 10

French act over Tunnel

Security will tighten at the French end of the Channel Tunnel in
a bid to curb the flow of illegal immigrants into Britain.

French officials promised to improve security at the Calais
Frethun station. But they did not indicate whether the Red Cross
camp at Sangatte, which houses asylum seekers, would be closed.

Steps to improve security would be taken as soon as possible, a
spokesperson said.

Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday 26 March page 17

Scottish newspapers

Executive to press ahead with ban on

The Scottish executive is expected to press ahead in introducing
a total ban on smacking children aged under three years in spite of
opposition from the public and parents’ groups.

The proposals, which also include a ban on smacking any child of
any age with an implement, are expected to be introduced in a bill
to the Scottish parliament tomorrow.

Most outspoken of the groups in opposition to the legislation is
the Parent Teachers’ Association, an ally of the
Labour/Liberal democrat coalition. The news comes on the
1,000th day of the Scottish parliament and is taken as a
sign that the executive is unwilling to back away from

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 26 March page 1

Welsh newspapers

Owen truths hang in the balance

The inquiry into the activities of alleged paedophile John Owen,
may never unravel the truth unless victims are given free and
independent legal advice.

The Clywch inquiry which began yesterday and is chaired by
Children’s Commissioner for Wales Peter Clarke, has already run
into difficulties because alleged victims say that it is unfair
that while others involved in the inquiry have lawyers to protect
their interests, they do not.

The first day of the inquiry which will look in detail at events
that took place at a school in South Wales where Owen once taught,
heard that some of the alleged victims had suffered serious sexual

The commissioner is due to decide later this week on whether or
not to allow the victims independent legal representation.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 26 March page 1

Daily Thief

An 11-year-old boy steals a car almost every day, but police
cannot punish him because he is too young.

The boy from Cardiff, who has hundreds of convictions for
joyriding, is said by police to be a serious danger and the cause
of a mini crime wave. He has been electronically tagged, and is the
subject of a curfew imposed by the court between the hours of 7pm
and 8am, but continues to steal cars regularly and drive them

Prosecutor David Thomas told Cardiff youth court where the boy
appeared yesterday that the 11-year-old appeared before the court
virtually every working day, but that sentencing powers were
limited until the boy reached the age of 12.

Social workers are now trying to find a foster home for the boy
outside the county after he was remanded into the care of the local
authority pending psychiatric reports.

Source:- Welsh Mirror Tuesday March 26 page 1 and 5

Drugs: The Shock Truth

A drugs epidemic is sweeping Gwent in south Wales. The county
has seen a huge rise in the number of heroin addicts, but there are
only two hospital beds in the region for the treatment of addicts
and there is a waiting time of around nine months before they
receive help.

David Jeremiah, co-ordinator for Gwent’s Drug and Alcohol team,
said that the problem was growing faster than the services that
were available to help. A spokesperson for Gwent police’s drug
squad said that there was a rise in the number of people seeking
professional help, but that the waiting time for drug
rehabilitation was unacceptable.

Source:- South Wales Argus Monday March 25 page 1 and




















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