Children left at risk by rise in legal costs

Children left at risk by rise in legal costs

Children at risk of abuse are being left unprotected following a sharp fall in the numbers being taken into care, a children’s charity says.

Figures obtained by The Independent from Cafcass, in the wake of the Baby P case, show that more than 600 fewer court applications were made by local authorities to take children into care in the past six months compared with the same period in 2007.
Read more on this story in The Independent

Murdered woman’s daughter was ‘ignored’ for six weeks

A council has launched a probe into social services after a murdered woman’s child was ‘ignored’ for more than a month after telling her teachers ‘My mum isn’t at home.’
The girl’s teacher reported the eight-year-old child’s fears to social workers ‘several times’, but her mother’s body was not found until six weeks after her murder.
It can also be revealed that a trainee social worker was the first to act on the girl’s fears and that the worker phoned murderer Andre Genestin, who said ‘there was not a problem’.
Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Welcome boost for schools and hospitals but council taxes look certain to soar

Schools and hospitals are likely to benefit from Gordon Brown’s decision to spend his way out of a recession but most departments still face a tight squeeze in the next two years.

On Monday Alistair Darling will fast-track a range of small and medium-sized capital projects in an attempt to rescue the construction industry.
Read more on this story in The Times

Britain ‘not ready’ for outright ban on men paying for sex

Ministers have been prevented from introducing an outright ban on paying for sex because they found that prostitution was too big a business and commanded too much public support.

A Home Office study released yesterday revealed a £1 billion market with 80,000 sex workers. It estimated that as many as 10 per cent of men had used a prostitute at some point.

Read more on this story in The Times

UK police knew of Albanian sex abuse

British police helped cover up a horrific sex abuse scandal at a Christian missionary orphanage in Albania, a Guardian investigation has found.

Senior officers agreed to keep details of abuse secret from their counterparts in Albania after the British director of the orphanage, David Brown, persuaded them that while children had been sexually abused in his care, he had played no part in it.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Vulnerable children at risk – Ofsted

An average of four children die each week in England in a system that offers “patently inadequate” standards of care in the networks of schools, care workers and children’s homes established to protect them, according to Ofsted.

Councils have systematically failed to learn from the mistakes made in dozens of the most serious cases of child abuse, while too many frontline staff in schools and health centres are still unable to recognise signs of abuse, Ofsted said in a report yesterday
Read more on this story in The Guardian

Immigration set to decline further

A decline in immigration is starting to accelerate as the recession bites, with a 36% fall in the number of Poles and other east Europeans coming to work in Britain recorded so far this year.

Figures published yesterday by the Office of National Statistics show that even before the economic slowdown, total immigrant arrivals in Britain were lower in 2007 at 577,000 than the 591,000 who came in 2006.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Councils face anger over £97m plan to tackle Gypsy housing crisis

Ministers are poised to announce the locations of scores of new and refurbished Gypsy sites under a £97m scheme aimed at addressing a housing crisis among Gypsies and Travellers.

About a third of the money is expected to go to the east of England – which has about a quarter of the country’s travelling families but only 16% of the official sites – and just under a fifth to the south-east, it is understood.
Read more on this story in The Guardian

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