News round up: Local authorities cut jobs as recession hits

Local authorities cut jobs as recession hits

Almost 7,000 council jobs have been lost across England in the past six months, and a further 14,000 are expected to go over the next year as the recession continues to bite, according to research published today.

A survey from the Local Government Association shows that three in five councils have made staff reductions — including frontline posts — since last October, and a similar proportion is planning cuts over the next 12 months.

Read more on this story in The Times

Foster carers are getting older

A UK fostering crisis could be looming as large numbers of existing carers head towards retirement age, a charity warned today.
Two-thirds (65 per cent) of foster carers are aged 50-plus according to the Fostering Network and may choose to retire in the next 10 to 15 years.

Read more on this story in The Independent

Public sector workers start to feel the pain

The jobs market will continue to shrink over the next three months, according to a survey of more than 500 employers that suggests the public sector as well as the private is starting to feel the pain.

Read more on this story in The Financial Times

Adult asylum seeker ‘raped girl, 13, after he lied about age and was placed in children’s home’

An asylum-seeker has been arrested after the alleged rape of a young girl from a children’s home where he had been placed after apparently lying about his age.
The Afghan presented himself to Birmingham Social Services and claimed he was a 13 year-old minor, but staff suspected he was really over 18.
Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

‘Over-indulgent’ mother banned from seeing children for three years

A wealthy financier’s former wife has been banned by a court from seeing her three children for three years after she was found to be turning them against him.

The woman was ruled to be an ‘overindulgent’ parent.

The highly unusual ban came after social workers concluded she was prompting her children to make allegations against their father.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Royal College of Nursing launches whistleblower hotline after poll reveals victimisation fears

A whistleblowers’ hotline is being set up today by the Royal College of Nursing after evidence emerged that its members are being victimised for voicing worries about unsafe practices on NHS wards.

A survey of more than 5,000 nurses found 78% feared personal reprisals or a negative effect on their career if they reported concerns to their employers. It also found that 21% had been discouraged or told not to report concerns about what was going on in their workplace.

The confidence of nurses was shaken last month when the Nursing and Midwifery Council, their regulator, struck Margaret Haywood off the professional register for exposing poor care in a film for the BBC programme Panorama.
Read more on this story in The Guardian

Child maintenance arrears still £3.8bn

More than 50,000 men in Britain owe at least £30,000 each in maintenance arrears for children of former relationships, according to analysis of a mountain of £3.8bn debt that the Child Support Agency has failed to collect.

The agency brought in private debt collectors to try to enforce some of the outstanding arrears. But they have succeeded in getting payment of only 6% of the overdue money they were asked to pursue.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Child traffickers target UK, say MPs

Child traffickers are targeting the UK because of the ease with which they can move victims through British ports and local authority care homes, the chairman of a parliamentary inquiry into human trafficking has warned.

Keith Vaz, head of the home affairs select committee, said he and colleagues were “very concerned” about low levels of funding for law ­enforcement agencies to fight trafficking, and he called on the ­government to hold an urgent review of the number of foreign ­children missing from local ­authority care.

Read more on this story in The Guardian


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