Children England – Sector News

4in10 campaign success 
4in10, London’s Child Poverty Campaigning Network, and Caroline Lucas MP, co-leader of the Green Party, have secured a pledge from the DWP to stop the disappearance of hundreds of children from childcare data. Early reports from local authorities indicated that children in families in receipt of universal credit were not appearing on their data lists, a technical issue that meant hundreds of two year olds could miss out on the two year old early years entitlement. Following questioning from Caroline Lucas MP and 4in10, the DWP have now committed to ensuring two year olds in families in receipt of universal credit will be included in data sent to local authorities from March 2018.
Growing divide between large and small to medium-sized charities
The government have been urged to reform its approach to contracting and commissioning favouring quality and specialism over scale and price, as latest figures reveal a growing divide between large and small-to-medium sized charities.

Data, released by the Charity Commission on 16th January 2018, shows:

  • The number of registered charities reached a nine-year high of over 168,000
  • Income for the sector has also reached a new high, above £75 billion
  • Most of the income growth came from larger charities, with a relative handful of larger charities growing bigger whilst small and local charities are struggling
  • Charities with an income of more than £10 million a year now account for 62.4% of the overall income of charities on the register, which is a 12 percentage point increase since 2007

Review into the health needs of care leavers published
The Care Leavers Association has published its findings from a three year study into the health needs of looked after children and care leavers. The report concluded that care leavers felt the health care system took inadequate account of the lifelong effects of trauma that is a frequent legacy of a child’s journey into and through the care system. A number of recommendations were produced to improve the commissioning process and improve health outcomes, including:

  1. The health needs of looked after children and care leavers to be a distinct section in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). This should, if possible be extended to adults aged 25+
  2. That a young person in care should have a comprehensive health assessment at entry into care which is then monitored and updated on a regular basis
  3. Commissioning of all mainstream health services to include targets for improving health outcomes for children in care and care leavers

The report has been released alongside a Commissioning Toolkit and a short guide for practitioners working with looked after children and care leavers, 45 ways

National Campaigners Awards
Do you know a person or organization that deserves to be celebrated for their campaigning? If so, the Shelia McKechnie Foundation are inviting nominations for their annual awards ceremony. The deadline for nominations is 11pm this Sunday, 21st January 2018.

Free campaigning guidebook published for charities
Freedom to Campaign, a free guidebook to campaigning within the Lobbying Act, has been published for charities by Campaign Collective. The 12-page guide explains what charities can and can’t do. It includes five quick tips, which are:

  1. Stay focused: If you have a campaign underway, it is unlikely to be covered by the Act
  2. Stay neutral: Don’t be party political, and don’t publicly shame politicians who don’t support you
  3. Stay within the law: Check out the public and purpose tests
  4. Stay clever: There are plenty of campaign tactics not covered by the Act
  5. Stay on top of time: Keep records of time and expenses spent on regulator

1 in 5 children and young people report experiencing emotional and behavioural problems
Results from the first HeadStart annual survey of 30,000 children, aged 10 to 16 years, found that across emotional and behavioural problems, being a child in need, being eligible for free school meals and having special educational needs were all associated with higher levels of mental health problems. Gender differences in types of mental health problems were also noted, with boys indicating they were experiencing more behavioural problems relative to girls and girls indicating they were experiencing more emotional problems relative to boys.

Social impact bond initiative launches to reduce number of children in care
Five London boroughs have launched a joint therapeutic care programme with a £4.5 million social impact bond, in a bid to keep more than 350 children and young people out of care. The Positive Families Programme has been commissioned by Tower Hamlets, Newham, Sutton, Bexley and Merton and aims to demonstrate the potential for collaboration in the commissioning of children’s services.