A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Blunkett to spend millions on boosting voluntary

The government is to encourage voluntary work and community
service, David Blunkett will announce today.

Grants of £4.5 million will be available for each of the
next three years to fund 110 community leaders, who will encourage
and co-ordinate voluntary work in deprived areas. They will be a
point of contact in communities.

As a cross Whitehall initiative based at the home office, the
Active Citizenship Unit will distribute grants of up to
£500,000 for each post.

David Blunkett will publish results of a survey showing how
employers can boost volunteering, and will raise the likelihood of
tax breaks for those that allow their staff time off for community

The home secretary is particularly keen for young people to
become more active.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 29 May page 8

Britain and US head teenage births league

A United Nations report has revealed high levels of births among
teenagers in Britain, blaming the country’s secrecy and
embarrassment over sex.

The US is the only developed nation with a higher proportion of
teenage mothers than the UK.

The report is compiled by Unicef’s Innocenti research
centre in Italy. It argues that too little rather than too much sex
education lies behind Britain’s failure to deal with the
social problems that face poorly educated young mothers.

In 1998, 16.6 births per 1,000 women in the UK were to women
aged between 15 and 17. A further 51.8 per 1,000 were to 18 and

The US rates were higher with 30.4 births and 82 per 1,000

The British rate for 15-17-year-olds was 10 times higher than
for Japan, and eight times more than in the Netherlands and Sweden,
where there is a more open attitude towards sex.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 29 May page 9

Police drop stolen car charge against boy cleared of
Damilola Taylor murder

Police have dropped a case against a teenager cleared of
murdering school boy Damilola Taylor.

Seventeen year old ‘Boy C,’ as he was known during
the trial at the Old Bailey, was charged with being a passenger in
a stolen Vauxhall Astra in London.

But detectives said the case was not being followed due to a
“lack of evidence”.

City of London magistrates court also heard how police made a
mistake in bailing him to appear yesterday with his co-defendant,
Junior Crawford, 19, who admitted aggravated vehicle taking and was
fined £310, ordered to pay £55 costs and disqualified
from driving for six months.

Source:- The Independent Wednesday 29 may page

‘Noise damages mental health of

Railways and road noise can harm the mental health of children,
according to a study yesterday.

The higher the levels of environmental noise, the greater the
impact on mental health, the report says.

The research was carried out by researchers in Innsbruck,
Austria, who studied 1,400 children in the Tyrol region where there
is a mixture of industry and farmland.

The children were asked about sleep problems and their academic
performance, and behaviour was examined.

Source:- The Independent Wednesday 29 May page

Guardian Society

Job centred

Practical focus for social work degree

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 29 May page 4

Back in radar contact

Revamp for government’s active community unit

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 29 May page 4

Falling down on duty

Local councils have ‘a long way to go’ to meet
equality rules

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 29 May page 4

Tight knit

The Climbie inquiry has focused police minds on improving child
protection procedures: it’s time to shed the ‘cardigan
squad’ image and get serious

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 29 May page 6

Race against time

The new act setting tough equality deadlines for the public

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 29 May page 10

Marine life

A military solution that is helping young offenders to find
self-respect and a way out of crime

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 29 May page

Struggle to be heard

Division among disability charities over equality watchdog

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 29 May page 127

Firmly out of focus

Joint review is damning of Walsall council’s poor

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 29 may page 127

Scottish newspapers

Church slates care home aid

Local authorities and the Scottish executive were severely
criticised for their lack of financial support for independent care
homes at the annual general assembly of the Church of Scotland in

The general assembly slated the “derisory” financial
contributions of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, and
the lower than expected contribution of the Scottish executive, as
contributing to the decision to close five church residential units
in the coming year.

In addition to the care homes the church has already been forced
to close four additional services including an alcohol
rehabilitation centre and several day centres. The church’s
board of social responsibility, which runs social care services, is
facing a deficit of £7 million this year if the closures do
not go through.

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 29 May page 8

Church to tackle domestic abuse

The Church of Scotland is to launch a major report into domestic
abuse in an attempt to raise awareness of the issue following a
decision at their annual general assembly.

The general assembly also voted to join in an ecumenical
initiative, launched by the Roman Catholic Church, to tackle
domestic abuse.

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 29 May page 8

Welsh newspapers

Plaid calls for an investigation into the safety of
children in care

Plaid Cymru is demanding an investigation into criticism of
child protection services in Cardiff.

Welsh assembly member (AM) Owen John Thomas, said a BBC Wales
documentary, ‘Week In Week Out’, had raised grave concerns about
the safety of children in the council’s care. The programme
highlighted children who had ended up on the streets and had fallen
prey to drink and drugs.

Thomas said that serious allegations had been made during the
documentary that demanded a full investigation. He added that the
BBC had exposed the fact that some of the capital’s most vulnerable
youngsters – those on the child protection register – had been left
without a named social worker to handle their cases.

He is now calling on Jane Hutt, health and social services
minister, to make a statement to the assembly on what action she
will take.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 29 May page 5

Welfare group seeks action on ‘worst child poverty’ in

A new welfare alliance wants radical action to end the “scandal”
of Europe’s worst child poverty levels.

The organisation, End Child Poverty Network Cymru (ECPNC), says
that 37 per cent of Welsh children live in households with less
than half the average income as well as being disadvantaged in many
other ways.

The group that consists of major bodies working in child welfare
says that a broad strategy is needed to tackle the problem of

ECPNC wants Wales to have its own dedicated and funded strategy
with timetables for targets and a systematic approach to measuring
progress. It is also wants the Welsh assembly to carry out a
detailed analysis of child poverty, and all local authorities in
Wales to produce local strategies with clear targets.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 29 May page 8





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