A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex

National council strike threatens new
ear of union militancy

The biggest national walkout since Labour came to power will
take place today as more than one million public sector workers
will go on strike.

Many local authority services are expected to be disrupted, as a
result of the 24-hour action by council staff. This is the first
national council workers strike since 1979.

Union leaders said last night there would be further selective
strikes if employers fail to increase the 3 per cent pay offer for
council workers.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 17 July page 1

Mother is held as girl, 12, starves to

The death of a 12-year-old girl, who was unknown to social
services despite weighing just 3 ½ stone when she died, will
be investigated by detectives.

Charlotte Collett from the Isle of Wight was pronounced dead on
arrival at hospital after wasting away to a weight at which she
could no longer survive.

Her mother had allegedly refused to send her to school over the
past several months, claiming she was receiving tuition at home.
Neither neighbours nor social services had been alerted to the
girl’s plight.

The girl’s mother was immediately arrested and detained
under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 17 July page 5

Parenting classes for young offenders

Young offenders held in custody are to be given parenting
classes in a bid to prevent them fathering a new generation of
criminals, in proposals to be unveiled in the criminal justice
white paper.

The introduction of parenting classes to the 3,000 teenagers
held in secure facilities is intended to “break the cycle of
inter-generational criminality”, and marks the extension of a
programme which has up to now been targeted at the parents of
difficult youngsters.

The white paper includes a huge overhaul in the way courts,
prison and police work. It will include the creation of a national
criminal justice board reporting to a cabinet committee to oversee
delivery. “Performance officers” are to be appointed to chase
progress among police, prosecutors, courts and prisons.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 17 July page 7

Removal of child abused mother’s
human rights

A mother diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome by proxy had her
human rights violated when social workers removed her baby at
birth, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled

The woman and her husband known as P and C will receive
£7,700 each from the UK government, which was ordered to pay
compensation for breaching their rights to a family life and to a
fair court hearing.

The baby, S, was removed by Rochdale social services on the day
of her birth in May 1998 because they learned that her American
mother, P, had been diagnosed as a Munchausen syndrome by proxy
abuser in the US.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 17 July page 9

Blair adoptions plan is

Prime minister Tony Blair’s aim to improve the rates of
adoption in Britain is failing, despite his promise in 2000 to
raise adoptions by 40 per cent within two years.

Figures released yesterday show that despite attempts to extend
adoption rights to unmarried couples and increase the number of
single women who adopt, there was only a 1 per cent increase in
adoptions in 2001 to 5,131 – just 49 more than the previous

Source:- Daily Telegraph Wednesday 17 July page 2

Barriers raised

Charities’ key role in spending review

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 July page 4

Spectre of the 70s

Television programme alleges brutalities at Broadmoor

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 July page 4

Equally disappointed

Labour ‘ducks its commitment to disability

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 July page 4

Let’s face it

Can victims of crime benefit from confronting the perpetrator?
And does the process help reduce offending?

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 July page 10

Playing for real

A project that builds parenting skills by helping adults
discover their own inner child

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 July page

Fighting spirit

The terminally ill need psychological care as well as drugs

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 17 July page

Scottish and Welsh papers

Council tax increase to meet pensions

Local authorities across Scotland are set to increase their
council tax bills to householders to cover shortfalls in pension
funds caused by the £18bn fall in the stock market in the past
three months.

Councils’ pension funds have lost £2.4m since the end
of March. Councils are allowed to invest their employees’
pension contributions in shares but are required to top up the
funds when there is shortfall.

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 17 July page 1

MS victim will fight cannabis

A high-profile, wheelchair-bound cannabis user has pledged to
fight charges for possessing cannabis which she claims alleviates
her crippling multiple sclerosis.

Biz Ivol from South Ronaldsay in Orkney, a long-term advocate of
the medicinal benefits of cannabis, was due to appear in court
yesterday but the case was continued without plea till 13

Ivol claims that Westminster’s recent proposal to
reclassify cannabis from Class B to Class C in July 2003 further
confuses matters. Ivol claims that every MS sufferer she has spoken
to has said that their doctors advised them to try cannabis, yet
the new legislation fails to cater for such medical advice.

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 17 July page 8

Keeping it in the family

Leukaemia carers have launched an appeal to boast services for
children whose lives are threatened by the illness.

A south Wales charity based in Penarth, LATCH (Llandough Aims to
Treat Children with Cancer and Leukaemia with Hope), wants to raise
money to build temporary accommodation for the families of sick
children near the wards where they are treated.

The charity’s chairperson, Eileen Thompson, said having their
family close could make all the difference in the world to children
undergoing treatment.

At the moment there is accommodation for families at the
Llandough hospital oncology unit but treatment services are due to
be moved to the new children’s unit at the University hospital of
Wales where there is no overnight provision for the families of
children with leukaemia.

The charity’s co-ordinator, Denise Henderson, said that LATCH
wanted to hear from people with ideas for fund raising.

Source:- South Wales Echo 16 July page 15

Former care worker in court on sex

A man facing nine charges of alleged paedophile behaviour
appeared before magistrates for the first time yesterday.

Graham Anthony Ford, of Greenwood House, Beaufort Road, Newport
is charged with nine offences of sexual assault and assault at a
Gloucestershire care home in the 1970s.

Ford faces two charges of committing serious sexual offences,
four of indecent assault, two of gross indecency and one of assault
occasioning actual bodily harm, all on boys under 16.

The nine charges are alleged to have been committed while Ford
was a care worker at Sedbury Park School, near Chepstow.

Magistrates decided to have all charges heard in Gloucestershire
crown court next Tuesday.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 17 July page 3

Care home dispute back in high

A 10-year dispute over plans to resettle patients from a south
Wales nursing home returned to the High Court yesterday.

The case has been brought by lawyers for four of the severely
disabled residents of Llanfrecha Grange, near Cwmbran, challenging
Gwent Health

Authority’s decision in November 2000 to cease providing long
stay care at the home.

Following a judicial review earlier this year the parties agreed
to adjourn proceedings to explore mediation with a view to
resolving their differences. But when the court reconvened, Mr
Justice Scott Baker was told that the mediation had been
unsuccessful. The hearing continues.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 17 July page 3






More from Community Care

Comments are closed.