A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex

Judge names boy, 12, cleared of fatal

A12-year-old boy, who was cleared of murdering a man in revenge
for being indecently assaulted, has been named by a judge.

Phillip Barrowcliff was accused of murdering Jason Mantoyah, who
died after a savage assault in which he was beaten to the ground
and stabbed in the stomach.

He was convicted of assaulting Mantoyah, 44, when he, his
brother, Gavin Clarke, 16, and Neil Howard, 28, burst into the
victim’s flat in Norfolk.

Howard was convicted of murder as he wielded the knife and was
sentenced to life imprisonment. Clarke was cleared of murder, but
found guilty of manslaughter.

Mr Justice Curtis ordered that restrictions on naming the
defendants be lifted, after the jury returned its verdict following
an eight-day trial at Norwich Crown Court.

He said: “It is a case where people tried to take the law into
their own hands and the public should be informed where a young
person is involved, albeit only in an assault.”

Source:- The Times Saturday 22 June page 5

Sex offenders to be under public

Police and probation monitoring of violent and sex offenders
freed from jail, will be overseen by members of the public.

The proposal follows concern raised by the murder of Sarah Payne
by Roy Whiting, who was jailed for life in December. However the
plans do not include a “Sarah’s Law” which her parents requested,
that would give the public access to the 18,000 names on the sex
offenders’ register.

Next week, advertisements for the unpaid roles will be placed in
the media. People chosen for the task will sit on a strategy
committee, which will overview arrangements drawn up by multi
agency public protection panels which assess and manage sexual,
violent, and other offenders who may cause serious harm to the

The 42 panels, which will be made up of police, probation
officers, prison, housing and social services, will draw up
detailed plans to monitor dangerous offenders, including
paedophiles, living in their areas.

Source:- The Times Saturday 22 June page 7

Blunkett plan on asylum education ‘like

The home secretary’s plans to take the children of asylum
seekers from mainstream education was condemned yesterday and
compared to the separate education policies operating in apartheid
South Africa.

A Labour dominated parliamentary committee warned David Blunkett
that the plan may breach equality rights. The committee also warned
the government that Labour’s second attempt to reform the asylum
system could breach international human right laws in up to 14
different ways.

The home office was attacked by the committee for a month long
delay in answering questions, which meant that it was unable to
issue a report before the Commons considered the Nationality,
Asylum and Immigration Bill.

Members said they had “considerable concern” about the Bill,
which will streamline asylum procedures and set up accommodation
centres for asylum seekers.

Children of asylum seekers would receive education within the
centres as opposed to mainstream schools. The committee attacked
this plan.

The report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights said: “It
gives rise to troubling echoes of historical educational regimes in
some other countries where children were educated separately on the
basis of race or colour, under the now discredited pretence that
the separate provision was equal.”

The members added that educating children in centres would
deprive them of making social and cultural links, developing an
understanding of and respect for the national values of the country
and from participating in cultural life.

Source:- The Times Saturday 22 June page 12

Charles to lead £50m crime fight

The government is to give the Prince of Wales £50m a year
for his charity in a bid to steer tens of thousands of young people
away from crime.

Prince Charles and Tony Blair have discussed the plan, which
will place 30,000 disadvantaged young people a year in work
attachments, rising potentially to 100,000.

The initiative will target 16 to 25 year olds for placements
with the police, fire service or charities.

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 23 June page 1

Non-offenders to be locked up indefinitely

Hundreds of mentally ill people are to be detained in secure
hospitals indefinitely, even if they have never committed a

Ministers will also give doctors powers to send patients who
have untreatable personality disorders to such places as Broadmoor
and Ashworth, for the first time.

The plans are stated in the draft mental health Bill expected to
be unveiled before Parliament by the end of this month.

But the Mental Health Alliance, which represents 50
organisations in the mental health field, said yesterday it had
“serious concerns” about the measures.

“We have serious concerns about proposed powers to detain non
offenders, regardless of whether or not they can be treated, and
the availability of sufficiently accurate risk-assessment
procedures to ensure that only people who pose an unacceptable
danger would be detained,” a spokesperson for the alliance

Source:- Independent Sunday 23 June page 10

Teenage drop-outs paid and shamed

Teenagers are to be shamed into staying at school beyond the age
of 16 by warning the potential drop-outs that they are costing
Britain £15bn a year.

Education secretary Estelle Morris has been given new figures
showing the country is losing an estimated £97,000 for every
child who drops out at 16 through a lifetime of higher
unemployment, low wages, lower productivity, higher crime, ill
health, unwanted pregnancies and drug misuse.

The figures, produced by the University of York and the
Department for Education and Skills, will be used to make British
teenagers feel the same sense of shame of dropping out of education
at 16 as their American counterparts.

Morris will back up her moves to reverse the drop out culture
with a White Paper on keeping children in education from 14 to

Source:- Independent Sunday 23 June page 11

Blunkett to pursue asylum curbs

The home secretary will press ahead with plans to curb asylum
seekers in the wake of the Seville summit, by promising a white
paper on ID cards by the summer.

David Blunkett will make the announcement at a meeting tomorrow
in London with the new French interior minister Nicolas

Blunkett will ask for extra French action to curb the flow of
asylum seekers to the English Channel.

He will ask for the Sangatte refugee centre near Calais to be
closed, extra security outside freight depots in Calais, more
vigorous action against human trafficking routes inside France and
a new bilateral agreement on aid.

Blunkett and Sarkozy will meet again in July, by which time the
identity cards consultation paper may have been published.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 24 June page 2

338 migrants are given job permits

More than 300 immigrants have been given permission to work in
Britain over the past five months under a new fast track work
permit system for highly skilled people, according to the home
office today.

Under the highly skilled migrants programme, which allows
individuals to seek a work permit without an employer sponsoring
their application, 338 migrants have been allowed to work as
doctors, scientists and a computer specialist.

Immigration minister Beverley Hughes said: “Migrants contribute
a great deal to our society and we are keen to encourage people to
come and work here in ways which help our economy grow.”

Source:- The Times Monday 24 June page 4

Foster carer shortage rises to 8,000

Almost 8,000 foster carers are needed in Britain, according to a
report today based on information from 128 local authorities.

National charity, the Fostering Network, published its survey to
coincide with Foster Care Fortnight, which begins today.

During the next fortnight, local authorities will be holding
events to encourage more people to consider becoming carers.

Executive director of the Fostering Network, Gerri McAndrew
said: “There is a desperate need for more foster carers, but it’s
not just a question of numbers. Each child should be able to live
with a carer carefully chosen to meet his or her specific needs in
terms of location, culture, lifestyle, language and even

“The wider the pool of carers, the more likely it is that a good
match can be found. Anyone can apply,” she added.

For more information contact 020 7620 6400 or visit

Source:- Daily Telegraph Monday 24 June page 5

Truancy minister backs prison

Estelle Morris insisted yesterday that prison should be an
option for punishing parents who allow their children to play

Teachers had the right to keep discipline in schools and to
expect the full support of parents, their head teachers, the local
authority and the government when they took action, she said.

The education secretary defended the decision to send a mother
to jail for allowing her children to play truant, saying it had
worked as the children had now returned to school and the mother
was now prepared to work with authorities.

“If it means that a parents spends a short time in jail, but
those two girls go back to school, I think it’s sad, but worth it,”
she said.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Monday 24 June page 9

Single mothers ‘more likely to be

Single mothers are three times more likely to suffer from
depression as a result of financial hardship, stress and isolation,
according to research.

Seven per cent of lone mothers were depressed, a team from
University College, London will tell the Royal College of
Psychiatrists today at the annual meeting in Cardiff.

Source:- Independent Monday 24 June page 7

Scottish and Welsh papers

Alternative to prison for women

Women offenders in Glasgow are to be offered an alternative to
prison as the country’s first Time Out centre is to be created.

The £2.6m centre will be based in Jean Morrison House in
Glasgow city centre’s Bath Street and offer a variety of services
such as social work and health. Providing 14 residential places and
a day care service to a wider range of women, the centre is being
fully funded by the Scottish executive as part of their strategy to
reduce the number of women sent to jail.

Source:- The Herald Saturday 22 June page 9

Many older people missing out on free personal

Hundreds of older people are going to miss out on free personal
care as many have failed to apply for the new funding.

With one week to go to the new entitlement on 1 July, only a
minority of care home occupants in key areas have applied. The care
home owners are blaming late information from the Scottish
executive while there are concerns that care home staff – who do
not stand to benefit from the new package – have failed to
encourage residents to apply. In some areas such as Edinburgh
Council, only a third of all those who qualify are believed to have

Source:- The Herald Saturday 22 June page 8

Catching them young

A full-length feature addresses the question of the role of
parenting and early childhood in young people resorting to truancy
and chronic offending.

Rather than punishing the parents of young offenders, the
Scottish executive has decided to support failing families at an
early stage. The feature examines the success of such work as NCH
Scotland’s Sure Start project in Inverness and Communities That
Care in Edinburgh.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday Sunday 23 June page 13

Social workers face most sackings

A crackdown on absenteeism by Scotland’s biggest council,
Glasgow Council, has led to a 53 per cent increase in disciplinary
hearings and a doubling of sackings.

Social workers and refuge workers are the staff groups most
affected. Last year the council pursued disciplinary action against
1,642 of its 36,750 staff compared to 1,072 the previous year.
Sackings increased from 12 to 24 in the same period. Social workers
and refuge workers experienced the highest number of disciplinary
actions. Last year councillors grilled social work chiefs about the
high levels of absenteeism in their department.

Source:- The Herald Monday 24 June page 7

Police may foot bill for addicts’ drug

A Welsh police force is looking into the possibility of funding
rehabilitation treatment for some drug users out of its own

North Wales chief constable Richard Brunstrom says he is
concerned about the lack of treatment for many drug users,
especially those who become involved in crime to pay for their

Brunstrom said there was a total failure to provide an adequate
treatment programme for addicts and that where people were arrested
and could be given treatment within the first 24 hours it was
likely to have a positive effect and reduce reoffending.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 24 June page 1

Teenage Mams’ magazine is born out of girls’ personal

Young mothers who become pregnant in their teens are proving
that they have a future.

Teenagers in Rhondda Cynon Taff, which has one of the highest
teenage pregnancy rates in the UK, are using collective girl power
to become magazine publishers.

With sponsorship from Marks and Spencer and the charity
Children’s Promise, more than a dozen young mothers have been
involved in the magazine project, devised by Rhondda Cynon Taff
community arts.

The magazine aims to give a realistic picture of what teenage
pregnancy can be like, including a painful account of a secret
pregnancy, and it also recounts the mundane aspects of life like
washing, cooking and collecting benefits, that young mothers are
likely to experience.

Thousands of copies of the first edition of Teenage Mams will
soon be distributed through schools and youth centres in the

Source:- Western Mail Monday 24 June page 2

Shortfall forces foster children to safety of

A report published today reveals that a shortage of foster
parents in Wales is resulting in vulnerable children being sent to

The charity, Fostering Network, has completed a survey of local
authorities and found that Wales urgently needs about 700 new
foster parents.

Social care experts say at the moment that there is little
option but to rehouse many children with families in England.

To help ease the pressure on the system, the charity NCH Cymru
is piloting a scheme in partnership with councils to help recruit
people from a variety of backgrounds to act as foster parents.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Assembly said that a review of
fostering services was planned.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 24 June page 8

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