Boy, 14, alcoholic

A Brum Deal

Birmingham City Council is threatening to make 40,000 employees redundant across its entire workforce, excluding teachers, in an attempt to introduce an equal pay structure.

Source:- Daily Mirror, Wednesday 12 September 2007, page12

Scientists link autism with higher levels of testosterone levels

Scientists believe exposure to high levels of the male sex hormone testosterone in the womb can cause autism.  This brain disorder affects around one in every 100 children in Britain.

The eight year study was carried out by Professor Baron Cohen, a leading specialist in autism from Cambridge University.  The findings of the study were presented at the BA Festival of Science yesterday.

Source:- The Independent, Wednesday 12 September 2007, page 16

Courts lose details of offender surcharges

The courts have lost track of how many offenders have paid the new surcharge to victims because its computer system cannot cope.

Source:- The Times, Tuesday 12 September 2007, page 4

Boy, 14, alcoholic

A teenage boy has been sent for rehabilitation care after becoming an alcoholic.

Source:- The Times, Tuesday 12 September 2007, page 4

66,000 kids a day skip class

Levels of truancy have increased from 1.49% to 1.61% of half-day sessions, government figures have shown, with rates at academies rising from 2.62% to 3.07%.

The government said the rise was down to more accurate recording, but the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats lambasted the rise.

Source:- The Sun, Wednesday 12 September 2007, page 22

Winter of discontent fear as TUC backs strikes

The Trades Union Congress backed co-ordinated strike action across the public sector at its annual congress yesterday in protest against low pay settlements.

The TUC will set up a national committee to co-ordinate disputes, which is likely to include Unison members in local government, who are set to be balloted on industrial action.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 12 September 2007 page 4

Lads’ mag FHM used topless photo of girl, 14, without consent

The lads’ mag FHM was found guilty of a significant breach of the Press Complaints Commission code for publishing a topless picture of a 14-year-old girl without her consent.

Solicitors acting for the girl said the publication of the picture, submitted to the Emap-published magazine for a gallery of mobile phone photographs, had had “a signifcant effect on her emotionally and at school”.

Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 12 September 2007, page 7

Divorce and separation affect one in three

More than 20m people in the UK – a third of the population – are now directly affected by divorce and separation, either through their own relationships or those of their parents.

The poll, conducted by the Centre for Separated Families, which aims to support all parts of a family after separation, found that one-third of those affected had sought professional advice, and three-quarters of these claimed to need more support.

Half of those surveyed claimed there was a lack of attention to the needs of non-resident parents, and the centre’s director, Karen Woodhall, claimed the results revealed a “crisis of inadequate support for families”.

Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 12 September 2007, page 13

Firms face recruitment ban for exploiting migrant workers

Rogue employers convicted of exploiting migrant workers will be prevented from recruiting any more staff from abroad, home secretary Jacqui Smith told the Trades Union Congress annual conference yesterday.

Smith also said that migrant workers would receive information about their employment rights, including the value of joining a trade union.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 12 September 2007 page 18

Muted relief greets Compact resignation

Voluntary sector leaders have called for a tougher approach from the body charged with monitoring the sector’s relationship with the state, following the resignation of its head.

John Stoker stepped down as the first Compact commissioner last week, 11 weeks after its chief executive, Angela Sibson, quit.

Sector leaders had been critical of Stoker’s approach of highlighting best practice among state bodies in their dealings with charities, rather than exposing those who were not fulfilling their contractual obligations.

Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 12 September 2007, page 2

Extreme prejudice

Social work leaders have welcomed a report into how a gay foster couple were allowed to abuse children in their care, including the role played by practitioners’ fear of being found to be prejudiced against them.

The report into the case of Ian Wathey and Craig Faunch, who Wakefield Council approved as carers in July 2003, suggested their status as the first openly gay foster couple in the town led to a lack of professional rigour in practitioners’ dealings with them.

Wathey and Faunch were jailed for five and six years respectively last year.

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 12 September 2007 page 3

Police told to chase serious offenders not good results

Police forces are pursuing minor offenders rather than tackling more serious offenders, in order to improve their performance statistics.

Source:- The Times, Tuesday 12 September 2007, page 29

Welsh news

Paedophile jailed indefinitely

A convicted paedophile who lured a four-year-old girl with sweets and a kitten in order to sexually abuse her was jailed indefinitely yesterday.
Malcolm Hewwitt, 53, from Newport, Gwent, was found guilty last month.

He has previous convictions for child sex abuse and is on the sex offenders register.

Source:- Western Mail, Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

Scottish news

New social services role for Thomas

Former Edinburgh health and social work leader Kingsley Thomas has been appointed to a national committee designed to improve the quality of social services.

The ex-Labour councillor, who stood down before May’s election, was appointed by children and early years minister Adam Ingram as a member of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

The body is charged with protecting the public by strengthening and supporting the 138,000-strong social care workforce, and raising standards of practice.

Source: The Scotsman, Wednesday 12 September

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