Tuesday 1 June 2004

    By Amy Taylor, Shirley Kumar, Clare Jerrom and Alex
    Dobson

    Care order reviews offer little hope to
    parents

    An extensive review of the cases of children taken into care is
    unlikely despite the doubt cast over expert witness testimony in
    such cases, according to research carried out by the Radio 4
    Today programme.

    After Angela Cannings had her convictions for murdering her two
    sons quashed last year in the Court of Appeal, a review of 250
    similar murder convictions involving children under two took place
    because judges raised concerns about the reliability of expert
    evidence.

    However, 52 councils contacted by the programme said they would
    not be re-opening any of the cases. Nine said none of cases
    reviewed would be reopened, and 2 would not rule out reopening
    cases.

    Children’s Minister Margaret Hodge previously said that
    she expected that the number of cases in which previous rulings
    were overturned would peak in the hundreds.

    Source: The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday, June 1, page
    2

    Britain Islamphobic 

    Britain has become an institutionally Islamophobic society which
    demonises Muslims, a report by the Runnymede Trust’s
    Commission has found. It recommends more action on employment,
    education, policing, legislation, and media.

    Source: The Independent, June 1, page 8

    Councils to give nuisance neighbours 24-hour councelling
    in secure housing

    Nuisance neighbours evicted from council homes will have to take
    a compulsory rehabilitation course to get re-housed.

    The government wants to use powers under the antisocial behaviour
    legislation to ensure that they take part in the programme that
    will include parenting skills, financial management, and anger
    management.

    This will take place in a dedicated secure council block with other
    problem families. Social workers will provide 24-hour counselling
    and family support.

    Source: The Guardian, June 1, page 1

    Prison service under fire for separating mothers and
    their children

    The prison service policy of separating mothers from their
    babies “sooner rather than later” has come under fire
    through a court battle from a reformed drug addict.

    Claire Frost, whose story is told in Prisoners’ families,
    BBC2, 9pm tonight, launched her legal battle when authorities put
    her baby in the care of her parents at nine months.

    There are four mother and baby units in English prisons two taking
    babies up to 18 months and two up to nine months.
    Frost argued early separation breached article 8 of the European
    convention on human rights.

    Source: The Guardian, June 1, page 6

    Scottish newspapers

    Scots split over plans to woo immigrants

    Jack McConnell’s plans to attract thousands of new
    immigrants to Scotland has divided the population, according to a
    study.

    While one in three does not want to welcome new immigrants, more
    than half believe Scotland should encourage them north of the
    border.

    The survey, conducted by Glasgow-based market research company
    MRUK, shows the first minister has work to do in order to convince
    the public to support his strategy to revitalise the Scottish
    economy.

    Source: The Scotsman, Tuesday 1 June

    Scots’ welcoming image suffers a blow

    Sixty per cent of Scots are concerned that too many incomers
    from the EU’s 10 new member states will arrive in Scotland
    “putting strain on housing, benefits and other
    systems”.

    A third of those surveyed by MRUK research company did not think
    migrants would help the Scottish economy or contribute to the
    funding of services in Scotland.

    A similar number did not think migrants would help the Scottish
    economy or contribute to the funding of services in Scotland.

    Source: The Scotsman, Tuesday 1 June

    Quit call over CD details of children

    An incident in which documents containing personal details of
    primary school children were accidentally distributed to the public
    has led to calls for a senior education official to resign.

    The children’s names and addresses were included on a CD and
    in some cases, photographs and medical details were included.

    Angry parents claim the information could easily have fallen into
    the hands of strangers, putting the safety of children at risk. One
    mother, Jennifer McGregor, said Donald Mackay, Midlothian
    Council’s director of education, should quit over the
    error.

    Source: The Scotsman  Tuesday 1 June

    Backlash on yobs forecast

    An expert on future trends will predict social austerity and a
    return to Victorian family values in response to antisocial
    behaviour in a lecture later this week.

    Frances Cairncross, a writer and economist, claims Britain’s
    liberal society will find itself challenged by increasing
    drunkenness, obesity, debt and bad manners.

    She predicts that the worldwide rise in numbers of worshippers of
    Islam signifies a shift in social attitudes towards stricter
    values.

    Source: The Scotsman, Tuesday 1 June

    Social work staff warn of split confusion

    Social workers in Edinburgh have warned of “logistical
    chaos” as the council announced two chiefs will take over
    different parts of the department.

    Child protection services will fall under the control of the
    city’s education director, Roy Jobson, as the new director of
    children and families services.

    Duncan MacAulay, who has been named interim chief social worker,
    will take responsibility for social care issues. But union leaders
    has warned of a lack of planning in the proposal, which is in
    response to the criticism directed at the department in a damning
    report into the death of baby Caleb Ness.

    They claim the move would cause administrative confusion and could
    leave some of the capital’s most vulnerable people at
    risk.

    Source: Evening News, Monday 31 May

    Welsh newspapers

    Fit Finns give Rhodri a health fix

    Welsh assembly First Minister, Rhodri Morgan is visiting Finland
    this week to see at first hand how the country has become the world
    leader in public health.

    Finland has made health a priority for many years and has achieved
    significant success through a range of innovative public health
    policies.

    Source: Western Mail, Tuesday 1, June page 2

    Elderly ‘missed’ by care
    providers

    Thousands of older vulnerable people in Wales are being
    “missed” by the NHS and social services, according to
    new research.

    The Older People’s Food Survey found 62 per cent of those
    questioned found it difficult to afford a healthy diet and 40 per
    cent of those
    taking part in the research reported finding accessing shops
    difficult.

    The Welsh Food Alliance who carried out the survey said that local
    authorities and community and voluntary groups should work together
    to support older people and help them maintain good nutrition in
    their own homes.

    Source: Western Mail, Tuesday 1, June page 7

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