A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

Including headlines from Saturday and

By David Callaghan, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Electronic tag girl, 12, is taken into care

A 12-year-old girl, who was the youngest person in Britain to be
electronically tagged, has been taken into care after breaching
curfew conditions.

Her parents, who live in Walsall, said they were unable to
control her after she caused damage to their home. The girl, who
will soon be 13, has been taken to secure local authority
accommodation outside of Walsall.

The girl was tagged because she breached bail conditions. She
will now be sentenced for the offences of breach of bail and
criminal damage.

Her father said: “We have tried, tried and tried again, but we
just cannot deal with the situation.”

Source: Daily Telegraph Saturday 8 June page 12

Paternity leave figures soaring

The number of men taking paternity leave is soaring, a new study
has found. Forty five per cent of men now take paternity leave up
from nine per cent in 1999.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development survey
found that 81 per cent of firms offer an average of two weeks off
to fathers when their babies are born, compared to 66 per cent
three years ago.

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 8 June page 17

‘Homes for pensions’ deal to tackle recruitment

People could be able to use their homes to fund pensions rather
than pension schemes under plans being drawn up by Standard Life

The bank is devising a specialist pension mortgage to be
launched later this year. People will be able to draw a pension set
against the value of their home, using a special credit card.
Standard Life would recoup the costs by selling the home when the
person dies.

Source:- Sunday Times 9 June page 10

Rethink over asylum children

Home secretary David Blunkett hopes to prevent a rebellion of
backbench Labour MPs by softening his proposals in saying that
children of asylum seekers will be allowed to attend schools after
six months.

He had previously suggested that children of asylum seekers will
only be educated in new accommodation centres.

Source:- Observer Sunday 9 June page 3

Blair wins welfare revamp

Prime minister Tony Blair will today promise a new raft of
welfare reform measures. There will be a big increase in the Job
Centre Plus system, where claimants are denied benefit if they
refuse work.

The 56 existing centres are to be increased by 50 covering a
quarter of the country by April next year. The announcement will
come as MPs return following a recess sparked by the Queen’s

Blair will also announce new measures to help lone parents and
disabled people return to work. The new scheme ‘Ambition Energy’
will involve leading energy companies, such as Centrica and

the National Grid Group, which are said to be keen to hire lone
parents. They will help fill vacancies for gas fitters and

Source:- The Guardian Monday 10 June page 1

‘Police fail to prosecute scores of child

Incidents of shaken baby syndrome are now about 200 per year and
appear to be increasing, a new home office study has shown.

But many parents, who are usually young fathers or stepfathers,
escape action because prosecutors and police officers lack training
in such cases.

Detective chief inspector Phil Wheeler of the metropolitan
police wrote the report, which found clusters of baby deaths in
Avon and Somerset, Hampshire, Derby and south London.

Source:- The Independent Monday 10 June page 5

Scottish newspapers

Women’s campaign to prevent closure of

Peterhead Prison is due to be closed and its world-renowned STOP
programme working with sex offenders transferred to prisons in the
central belt.

This feature examines the success of the campaign against
closure led by prison officers’ wives and community groups,
and concludes it is all the more successful because men are not

Source:- The Herald Saturday 8 June page 11

Addicted to legal substances

Dependency on over-the-counter drugs is growing throughout the
UK, but little is being done to address the problem.

This feature examines the extent of the problem and the work of
addiction counsellors, psychiatrists and voluntary groups such as

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 9 June page 13

Time limit on child witness evidence under

The crown office should introduce much shorter time limits for
child witnesses to be called to court, according to

Under the current rules the crown has up to 110 days after the
child witness has been interviewed before bringing a case to court.
Campaigners say that such a wait can cause undue stress and damage
to child witnesses.

Attention has also been drawn to the case of 13-year old girl in
the Tayside area still waiting to give her evidence three years
after the alleged offence. By the time she appears in court she
will be more than 16-years-old and have lost her right to
anonymity. Child welfare organisations such as Children
1st are calling on the crown office to urgently review
these time limit rules.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 9 June page 9

Domestic abuse courts to be set up

Strathclyde police and court officials in Glasgow are examining
ways in which to set up courts dedicated to dealing with domestic
violence, after a plea by senior judge, Lord Carloway.

Last year in Strathclyde there were 14,900 domestic abuse
complaints, which is believed to be only a fraction of the real
total of incidents. The proposal follows the establishment of
courts dedicated to dealing with crimes motivated by drug

Lord Carloway made his plea for courts dealing solely with
domestic violence at a conference in April. He called for an
additional package of reforms to co-ordinate faster, simpler
justice and protection for victims.

Source:- Daily Record Monday 10 June page 1

Welsh newspapers

Cure-all for health service failing

Wales is missing out on vital health targets and in some
instances the health of the country is actually getting worse.

Although 9 per cent more is currently spent on health in Wales
than in England, the English are way ahead on tackling the biggest
killers, such as heart disease.

Despite millions of pounds being spent, health experts say that
there are still chronic shortages of specialists in rheumatology,
cardiac care, cancer care, radiology, mental health services and
GPs and nurses.

In 1996 the old Welsh office set itself 15 targets on improving
health from the cradle to the grave, ranging from teenage smoking
and suicide to lung cancer and heart disease. Some of those targets
were due to be met this year, but only three look like having a
chance of being met, and some health problems are worsening,
according to Ruth Hall, the chief medical officer for Wales.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 10 June page 1

Select committee listens to children

History will be made today when a group of children aged from 10
to 16 become the first to give evidence to a parliamentary

The joint select committee on human rights made up of MPs and
peers will hear the views of young people as part of a long-running
inquiry into whether the UK needs a new human rights body.

Committee chairperson Jean Corston said that debates on human
rights rarely extended to children, and that she was very much
looking forward to hearing what they had to say.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 10 June page 4






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