New advice on how to spot signs of ritual abuse

New advice on how to spot signs of ritual abuse
The government is publishing draft advice today for children’s services professinals on how to spot signs of ritual abuse on children.
Though the guidance admits that cases of ritual abuse are relatively few, it says the impact on children is “very substantial” and it is possible that a “significantly larger” number of cases go undetected.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 2 February 2007, page 10

Archbishop blames costly penal culture for jails crisis
The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for a commission of inquiry into the “failing” prison system in a lecture in which he blamed the government for a “custodial fundamentalism”, based around creating increaseing numbers of custodial sentences.
Delivering the annual Prison Reform Trust lecture, Rowan Williams said many custodial sentences were not effective in rehabilitating offenders given lack of provision and overcrowding, and called for more restorative justice approaches.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 2 February 2007, page 5

Targets missed on benefit fraud and error
Two of the government’s three targets for reducing billions of pounds of benefits fraud and error have been missed, the Department for Work and Pensions had admitted.
The overpayment rate for housing benefit has risen by 13 per cent since 2002, against a target of a fall of 20 per cent.
Source:- The Financial Times, Friday 2 February 2007, page 3  

Homeless claims
Council leaders are calling for homelessness figures for migrants not entitled to benefits, who are largely Eastern Europeans, to be collected separately from overall homelessness statistics. The call has led to them being accused of trying to bury bad news on homelessness figures.
Source:- The Times, Friday 2 February 2007, page 2

Scottish news

First minister condemns social work failings
Jack McConnell has joined the condemnation of Midlothian Council after a breakdown in the management of its social work department exposed vulnerable children to abuse and neglect.
At first minister’s questions, he warned all local authority social work managers to “get their house in order” to ensure children were fully protected.
On Wednesday, Malcolm McEwan, the council’s social work director, and councillor Danny Molloy, who had political responsibility, quit in light of the report. McConnell welcomed the resignations, saying for far too long public and voluntary sector bodies had ducked responsibility for failings in child protectio
Source:- The Herald, Friday 2 February 2007

Businessman bails asylum seeker for second time
An asylum seeker threatened with deportation has been released from a detention centre for the second time after a Scottish businessman put up £1000 bail.
Bob Blakey, a building inspector who travelled 400 miles to attend a bail hearing in Bedfordshire, said he was horrified by how Zahra Byansi had been treated.
The businessman, who runs his own company from his home in Milton of Campsie, says he put up £500 bail last March but was not informed of the family’s detention.
Source:- The Herald, Friday 2 February 2007

Improving services for autistic children
With three months to go until the Holyrood election, the Scottish Society for Autism has asked the main political parties to set out their plans in this vital area.
Their responses are due to be published in the organisation’s magazine, The Journey.
The Scotsman looks at what some of the solutions should look like.
Source:- The Scotsman, Friday 2 February 2007

Welsh news

Social services in Wales still to learn lessons from death of Victoria Climbie
Some Welsh councils are yet to fully implement the recommendations of the Victoria Climbie inquiry it has been warned yesterday.
The allegation comes in Richard Tebboth, acting chief inspector of the Social Services Inspectorate Wales’, annual report.
Source:- Western Mail, Friday 2 February 2007

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