Adoptions fall to lowest for years

Adoptions fall to lowest for years

The number of children adopted from the care system fell by 400 in the year to March 2007, government figures published yesterday showed.

The British Association for Adoption and Fostering said the decline was in part explained by “alarming misconceptions” among the public about adoption, and the rise of special guardianship as an alternative.

A BAAF survey published earlier this week found that many people believed that being over 40, unmarried or unemployed would rule them out of adopting a child.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 9 November 2007 page 2

24-hour drinks in 5,000 outlets

The number of premises licensed to sell alcohol around-the-clock has risen by 70% in the past year, from 3,000 to 5,100, government figures have shown.

They also showed that only 670 licences had been reviewed by local authorities and only 90 had them revoked, under new powers given to councils under the reforms to the licensing laws implemented in 2005.

Opposition parties said the figures called into question the reforms and that the law was not being properly enforced.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 9 November 2007 page 10

Clegg: axe middle-class benefits to fund poor pupils

Middle-class couples should lose their right to child tax credits to provide schools with a “pupil premium” for each disadvantaged child they take on, Liberal Democrat leadership contender Nick Clegg has said.

Clegg said the extra money would enable schools to give certain pupils more one-to-one support and recruit expert teachers, and claimed it would takle the “crisis of disadvantage” in education.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 9 November 2007 page 12

Cameron to offer parents control of co-op schools

Conservative leader David Cameron yesterday outlined ideas for parents to take ownership of failing schools and run them themselves with government funding.

He said that education improved when parents felt they had a stake in a school.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 9 November 2007 page 12

Chad Varah, founder of the Samaritans, dies

Chad Varah, the founder of the Samaritans, died yesterday, aged 95.

Varah set up the group from the crypt of his church in the City of London in 1953, and received tributes from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, among many others.

Williams said he made a “unique contribution to society, changing attitudes to suicide and bringing a wholly non-judgemental approach to people in need”.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 9 November 2007 page 15

Parents jailed for baby’s death from ‘litany of injuries’

The parents of a 10-month-old boy who died after suffering a “litany of injuries” which they tried to hide by smothering him in baby powder have each been jailed for five years.

Neo Craig died from massive internal bleeding after being punched in the stomach by his drug dependent father as he lashed out at the child’s mother on Christmas Eve last year.

A serious case review was launched following his death and made recommendations to improve training for social workers dealing with families where drug misuse was taking place.

James Craig and Sharma Dookhooha, Neo’s parents, were both addicted to crack cocaine.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 9 November 2007 page 15

Man arrested as nursing home victims named

Two women found murdered in a nursing home were named by police yesterday.

The bodies of Rashni Badiani, 56, and Radhaben Chauhan, 72, were discovered by staff in the room they shared at Hayes Park in Leicester on Wednesday morning.

Mrs Badiani had lived at the home since December 2004 and Mrs Chauhan since August.

A man of 19 was arrested on Wednesday night on suspicion of the murders and remains in custody.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 9 November 2007 page 6

Ex-abbot jailed for sex abuse at boarding school

An 80-year-old former abbot was jailed for 15 months yesterday for grooming and abusing boys as young as eight at a boarding school in the 1970s.

William Manahan, who carried out the offences at Buckfast Abbey prep school in Devon, is thought to be the most senior Catholic official convicted of offences against children in Britain.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 9 November 2007 page 8

Manchester is a divided and failing city, say Tories

A report by former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith has claimed that Manchester is a “divided city” where an economic boom masks a teenage pregnancy rate double the English average, high rates of alcohol-related hospital visits and poor education results.

Manchester Council leader Richard Leese hit back saying the city was an “enormously better place” to live than ten years ago.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 9 November 2007 page 14

Estate agents ‘swindled £0.5m from schizophrenic’

A pair of estate agents duped a man diagnosed as schizophrenic out of money, gold, jewellery and shares worth more than half a million pounds, a court was told yesterday.

Malcolm Green, 39, and Gem Shevket, 34, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court in East London to deny eight charges of conspiracy to defraud, theft and dishonesty in relation to Marshall Davis.

Source:- The Times Friday 9 November 2007 page 22

Shamed child doctor ‘had my boy taken away from me’

Controversial paediatrician Professor David Southall went before a General Medical Council disciplinary panel yesterday accused of serious professional conduct, after complaints from five families in relation to child protection issues.

Yesterday, social worker Francine Salem, giving evidence in Southall’s defence, discussed a case in which he advised her of a “major child protection issue” in relation to a child whom she suspected of having a parental-induced illness.

He was later taken into care but is understood to have been returned to his mother, who claimed in a hearing that Southall had accused her of murdering the child’s older brother, despite no criminal charges being brought.

Source:- The Daily Mail Friday 9 November 2007 page 24

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