A daily summary of social care stories in the main newspapers

By David Callaghan, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Children at home ‘abused by matron’

Children were made to drink from puddles, were tied to chairs
and kicked and punched by a matron who was known as ‘the witch’ at
a children’s home, Southampton crown court was told yesterday.

Margaret Luck, of Cowes, Isle of Wight, has denied eight charges
of cruelty and one of indecent assault. Richard Onslow,
prosecuting, said children at the home in the 1970s and 80s were
also subjected to racism. One boy said he was fondled by Luck in
the bath.

Luck said she tried to establish a consistent regime for the
children, and described the standard of care as “good”.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 14 June page 8

Three psychiatric patients die in cliff fall

An inquiry is to be held into the deaths of three voluntary
patients of a psychiatric hospital in Exeter, who jumped off a
cliff. The 29-year-old woman and teenage boys, aged 17 and 19, died
instantly after the 200-feet fall at Salcombe Cliff in Devon.

A policeman tried to persuade them not to jump, but the three
ignored his pleas. They had been reported missing from the Cedars
Unit at Wonford House Hospital earlier on Wednesday.

Devon Partnership NHS Trust, which provides mental health and
learning difficulties services across Devon, has launched an
inquiry into the incident.

Source:- The Times Friday 14 June page 11

Pupils fail to heed safe sex education

Sex education programmes designed to promote safe sex do not
prevent teenagers falling pregnant, a new study in Scotland has

The programme did not increase the use of contraception or
reduce risk-taking, the study published in the British Medical
Journal reveals.

A Scottish team led by Daniel Wright of the Medical Research
Council’s social and public health sciences unit in Glasgow, worked
with Canadian academics to quiz 5,854 pupils at 25 secondary
schools who answered the survey anonymously.

Source:- The Times Friday 14 June page 5

Scottish newspapers

First minister in crisis over youth courts

The Scottish executive’s approach to youth crime was in
turmoil last night after the deputy justice minister, Dr Richard
Simpson, appeared to rule out the introduction of juvenile courts
only weeks after the first minister, Jack McConnell, had championed
the scheme.

Simpson said that youth courts had been “an absolute disaster”
in England, and claimed English authorities looked on
Scotland’s children hearings system with envy. McConnell had
announced three weeks ago that the executive was considering youth
courts to deal with persistent young offenders, and established an
executive sub-committee to look into the proposal.

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 14 June page 1

Executive warned against private prisons

One of Britain’s leading experts on prisons yesterday
warned the Scottish executive against the development of more
private prisons.

Dr Andrew Coyle, formerly a governor at four British prisons and
now director of the International Centre for Prison Studies at
King’s College University, London, said that countries which
developed private prisons some years ago are now having second
thoughts, and some are returning to state-run jails.

Coyle blamed the executive’s failings and weak leadership
from the Scottish Prison Service for Scotland pursuing private
prisons when other states with more experience were rejecting the

Source:- The Herald Friday 14 June page 1

Welsh newspapers

Spectre of a growing crime spiral

The problem of solvent and drug abuse has haunted communities
across Wales for years.

Areas of social and economic deprivation are often particularly
affected and whole communities need to tackle the problem.

Ifor Glyn, area project manager of the west Glamorgan council on
alcohol and drug abuse, said that substance misuse was often the
forgotten side of drug abuse because it was very secretive and
often involved children aged between 12 and 13.

Glyn, who runs offices in Bridgend, Neath, Swansea and Port
Talbot, said: “We rely a lot on families, friends and schools to
help us. The problem is so huge that it can’t be left to specialist
agencies. It needs to be tackled by the whole community.”

Peter Black assembly member for south Wales west said that he
was not convinced that Wales was tackling the problem in an
effective way, and that educating children about substance misuse
needed to widen to include clubs and activities outside the school

Source Western Mail Friday 14 June page 2

Families like Russells ‘need better

The father of a girl left for dead after a hammer attack that
killed her mother and sister has called for the need for better
support and help for families and children coping with sudden and
violent death.

Dr Shaun Russell praised the agencies that had helped him and
his daughter Josie in the aftermath of the murder of his wife Lin
and younger daughter Megan, but said that he was disappointed that
help was not available to everyone.

Josie, who was nine at the time, was left for dead in the hammer
attack and suffered severe head injuries, and sometimes during her
rehabilitation Russell said people were hard pressed and couldn’t
give them the necessary attention.

His comments were made at a conference organised by the Child
Bereavement Trust that was held in London yesterday.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 14 June page 3





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