Cheshire & Merseyside Women & Children’s Programme Evaluation

Cheshire & Merseyside Women’s and Children’s Services wants to hear your views on the Partnership Vanguard. The Vanguard is a partnership between 27 healthcare providers in the Cheshire and Merseyside area, also known as Improving Me. It aims to improve the experiences and healthcare of women and children in the area. You may know about some of the work of the Vanguard through activities such as Baby Box, Game Changer and Building Bonds.

If you live in the Cheshire and Merseyside area, please complete the short survey (link below) on the work of the Vanguard. All responses are anonymous and individual responses will not be published in our report or shared with any healthcare professionals.

Please click here to complete the survey

National Child and Maternal Health Intelligence Network News – Public Health England

Resources to Support Local Authorities with Commissioning Services for those aged 0-19 years

PHE has published a number of resources to support local authorities with commissioning services for those aged 0-19 years:

  • The Best Start in Life return on investment (ROI) tool is an interactive Excel sheet which pulls together the best economic evidence available on public health interventions aimed at young children (0-5 years), and/or pregnant women. Specifically included interventions look to increase breastfeeding uptake and prevent or treat postnatal depression. The ROI tool is accompanied by a user guide.
  • The commissioning guidance is a refresh of the current guidance that PHE provides (working alongside partners including the Local Government Association) to support local authorities in commissioning the Healthy Child Programme for 0-19 years. This suite of documents replaces the existing document and includes the latest policy and guidance.

Child Health Profiles Updated

PHE has updated the Child Health Profiles interactive tool which present data across 32 key health indicators of child health and wellbeing. The profiles provide an overview of child health and wellbeing for each local authority and CCG in England and are designed to help local organisations understand the health needs of their community and work in partnership to improve health in their local area. Due to delays in receipt of data from third party suppliers, the pdf profile reports for local authorities will receive their annual update at a later date (provisionally in June 2018). We have also published the results of the latest child health profiles user survey.

New Report looks at Creating National Indicators for Child Development Outcomes

PHE has published findings from work looking to create child development outcomes indicators. The report looks at how data health visitors collect from their use of the ASQ-3 as part of the Healthy Child Programme development review might be used to create indicators at a national level as part of the Public Health Outcomes Framework. A blog has been published alongside the report which summarises the opportunities for such indicators to inform the planning of early years services.

National child measurement programme operational guidance (Public Health England)

Guidance for local commissioners, providers and schools on running the national child measurement programme (NCMP).

Local transformation plan toolkit: guidance on how to design and deliver mental health services for children who have been abused (NSPCC)

The toolkit and guidance follows the annual analysis of local transformation plans looking at how the needs of these children and young people are considered in the commissioning of services. The toolkit aims to help commissioners and other stakeholders understand how their plans can better meet the mental health needs of children and young people who have been abused. Key criteria and best practice themes include: recognising that some groups of children are more vulnerable to mental health problems than the wider population, including children who have been abused and children in care; carrying out a needs analysis of vulnerable groups using a range of sources; providing evidence-based services for vulnerable groups.

Safe sleeping – supporting parents. (Public Health England)

Blog report from Wendy Nicholson, Nursing Lead for Children, Young People and Families at Public Health England, about helping parents ensure their baby sleeps well and is safe. PHE have teamed up with Lullaby Trust to develop guidance to help new and expectant parents make safer choices when deciding on sleeping products for their baby. The guidance can be downloaded here . It aims to provide parents with some key pieces of advice when choosing sleeping products.

Alternative provision innovation fund (Department for Education)

Funding to deliver projects to improve outcomes for children in alternative provision. The Alternative Provision Innovation Fund is a £4 million grant funding programme launched to support innovative practices that will deliver better outcomes for children in alternative provision.

Updated screening standards for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes (Public Health England)

PHE screening blog post which covers recent changes to updated screening standards for the NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme.

Indecent images of children: guidance for young people (Home Office)

This guidance aims to help young people understand the law on making or sharing indecent images of children.
The Home Office have also produced a supporter pack to help educate young men on the law relating to indecent images of children online. To better protect potential victims and reduce demand on the criminal justice system, the campaign aims to prevent offending before it occurs and disrupt the escalation of harmful offending behaviour. The supporter pack includes more information about the campaign and materials you can use such as videos, posters, infographics and social media messages.

Mentally Healthy Schools website available nationwide (Place2Be)

The Mentally Healthy Schools website, a landmark project from Heads Together to help schools better support children’s mental wellbeing, is now available nationwide. Mentally Healthy Schools is a free and easy-to-use website for primary schools, offering teachers, school leaders and school staff across the UK reliable and practical resources to help them support the mental health of their pupils. Created by Heads Together partners Place2Be, the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families and YoungMinds, the site will provide over 600 free, easy-to-use lesson plans, activities, assemblies and more. More info on the aims of the site from the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families here.

New booklet empowers young people to understand normal vulva appearance (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology)

A new resource aimed at educating young people on normal female anatomy – specifically vulva appearance – has been launched by RCOG/BritSPAG. The resource consists of a booklet titled ‘So what is a vulva anyway?‘ and has been developed in response to an increasing number of girls and women with cosmetic genital concerns requesting surgery despite having normal anatomy.

Healthy child programme 0 to 19: health visitor and school nurse commissioning (Public Health England)

This service specification is for local authorities commissioning health visitors and school nurses, for public health services for children aged 0 to 19. The guidance from PHE has been republished to reflect new evidence and guidance to support local authorities commissioning ‘public health services for children and young people’ and in particular delivering the healthy child programme 0 to 5 and 5 to 19. It focuses on the contribution of health visiting and school nursing services leading and co-ordinating the delivery of public health for children aged 0 to 19. The healthy child programme aims to bring together health, education and other main partners to deliver an effective programme for prevention and support.

Best start in life: cost-effective commissioning (Public Health England)

A tool to help local commissioners provide cost-effective interventions for children aged up to 5 and pregnant women.

Domestic violence and abuse (Home Office)

Find out about domestic violence and abuse, coercive control, disclosure scheme, protection notices, domestic homicide reviews and advisers. This guidance is offered to coincide with the Domestic Abuse Bill consultation which is now open. Details and how to contribute are available on the consultation page.
The Home Office and Ministry of Justice have also made available social media infographics and animations to encourage engagement with the Domestic Abuse Bill consultation and raise awareness of domestic abuse. Graphic 3 concerns children.

Doctors launch ‘game-changing’ new eLearning tool to help identify muscle degenerative disorders (Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health)

The new eLearning resource, launched by RCPCH, aims to equip health professionals with the information to identify conditions such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy at the earliest opportunity. This will allow treatment to begin much earlier which will in turn, enhance mobility, prolong life and allow family members to be tested to assess the risk of passing the condition on to future generations. Go to RCPCH Compass Online Learning Tool – learn the signs and help improve the quality of a child’s life today Doctors say this new resource, aimed at health visitors, GPs, nurses and physiotherapists will void the gap of knowledge that currently exists and will finally enable awareness to catch up with the science.


‘Children’s Publications – Source: Children England Bulletin (March 2018)

Children’s wellbeing statistics 2018
The Office for National Statistics has published its latest statistics showing how children aged 10 – 15 feel about a range of areas of their life, including relationships and social media. The main points include:

  • The percentage of children in the UK who reported talking to their father more than once a week about things that matter to them increased significantly between 2009 to 2010 and 2015 to 2016, increasing from 38.0% to 45.2%.
  • Between 2009 to 2010 and 2015 to 2016, the percentage of children aged 10 to 15 years who argued with their mother more than once a week fell significantly, from 30.5% to 25.8%.
  • Between 2015 and 2017, the percentage of children aged 10 to 15 years who reported high or very high happiness with their friends fell significantly, from 85.8% to 80.5%.


Keeping children and young people out of court
The Inspectorates for probation and for constabulary and fire and justice have reviewed the operation of Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) in working with children and young people who have committed low-level offences to keep them out of the criminal justice system. It says: “We found YOTs often doing good and effective work to make it less likely that children would offend again, and to enable them to change their lives for the better. However, with some specifc changes, the work could be better still and more children could beneft, as well as local communities and society as a whole.” The report’s recommendations for YOTs are:

  • Make sure that the requirements of youth conditional cautions are meaningful to children, and describe the desired outcomes and how these will be achieved
  • Make sure that all victims have a fully informed and effective opportunity to have their views heard, and to receive an appropriate restorative intervention
  • Make sure that children understand the implications of receiving an out-of-court disposal before they are asked to accept it


Government responds to Youth Select Committee on Body Image
The government has published its response to the findings of the Youth Select Committee’s inquiry into body image. Whilst it agrees with the sentiment of the Inquiry’s findings and says “The Government will continue to seek opportunities to support civil society to promote and raise awareness of body image issues”, it stops short of committing to any new actions as a result, restricting itself to confirming existing initiatives and ongoing work including:

  • Considering how new PSHE curriculum content and guidance could address body image
  • Involving children and young people in testing the new approaches to mental health support set out in the green paper Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision
  • Suggesting that “if industry-led, voluntary action is unsuccessful in relation to the measures set out in the Internet Safety Strategy, legislation may be necessary” (regarding minimum standards and removal of social media content)

Growing Up North 
The Children’s Commissioner has published her year-long research into the experiences of children growing up in the north of England and the impact of the developments associated with the Northern Powerhouse project. It finds that children love where they live, but are not properly benefitting from investment in the North, which should focus more on children. The findings include:

  • Northern 2 to 3 year olds are more likely than their London counterparts to attend nursery – but are less likely to reach the expected standard of development when starting school
  • More than half of the schools serving the North’s most deprived communities are below a ‘good’ rating. This means children in these communities face the double-disadvantage of being from a poor community and attending a poor school. Schools in these ‘cold spots’ are facing the same problems: weak leadership, poor governance and difficulties recruiting staff
  • Many more children in the North than nationally are starting school with high-levels of development issues, but fewer children are having special educational needs diagnosed before they start school
  • High numbers of children across the North are dropping out of school too early, missing vital parts of their education and undermining their future prospects

More Support needed for Vulnerable 16 & 17 year olds

The Children Society has just published research into the support available for vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds as they move into adulthood, finding that it ‘can disappear overnight’. Whilst local authorities have a duty to help 16 and 17 year olds deemed to be ‘in need’,

  • 46% of 16 and 17 year olds referred to children’s services receive no further action
  • 35% of 16 and 17 year olds who are referred to children’s services have also been referred in the preceding 12 or 24 months
  • 1 in 3 referrals of 16 and 17 year olds to children’s services come from the police
  • Fewer than 3% of closed cases of children in need aged 16–17 get transferred to adult services

Safer Internet Day 2018; Free Activity Pack

Create, Connect and Share Respect: A Better Internet Starts with You

Activities to promote online safety with young people aged 11-19

Click here to download the VR youth work resource pack

A 2016 survey by Opinium found that on average, UK children have a phone by the age of seven, an iPad by eight, and a smart phone by the age of ten giving them almost unlimited online access and the ability to communicate around the globe. Additionally social media platforms are an influential part of contemporary culture, providing an essential tool for learning and communication and a virtual space to form personal identity and independence.

But, alongside all of the benefits, there is a concerning darker side to the digital revolution. Whilst being online can be empowering, 20% of children aged between 10 and 18 say they have experienced online bullying or trolling, rising to almost 60% amongst 16-18 year olds. This includes the misuse of popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

One certainty is that digital media is not going to go away, which is why it is so important to teach young people how to use it safely and respectfully. This pack contains a selection of activities to support this. Designed for practitioners working with young people aged 11-19, it celebrates Safer Internet Day 2018 by promoting good ‘netiquette[2]’ and safer digital citizenship for all.

Source: Vanessa Rodgers –

Care Crisis Review: Two New Surveys

Family Rights Group is leading the Care Crisis Review, which;

  • is examining the reasons for the record number of care order applications and high numbers of children in care;
  • aims to identify specific changes that can safely reduce the number of care cases coming before the family court and avert the need for children to come into or remain in care.

They are very keen to get the views of parents, kinship carers, social workers, legal professionals, academics, elected members, managers, judges and others who work with families. They have now launched two surveys:

One survey is for practitioners, senior managers, elected members and the judiciary.

The other survey is for family members whose children are or have been involved with children’s social care service or subject to care proceedings

Personal Travel Budgets for Children with Special Educational Needs

Children England’s Outreach Officer, Sue Thomas, has produced an online resource for children and young people on the Personal Travel Budget (PTB). PTB is a sum of money that can be paid to parents or carers of children and young people with special educational needs and / or a disability who qualify for free school transport.

The resource outlines who is eligible and how to apply, and was produced as part of Children England’s  Listen To My Voice project – a toolkit and guide to consulting with children and young people, in particular those facing challenges to engagement through special educational needs and/or disabilities.

For more information see Children England’s website – Personal Travel Budgets

GDPR Advice for Children’s Charities

The PDF below is guidance that should help charities specifically concerned about the implications of the new General Data Protection Regulation for your records of children you work with, or have worked with in the past. Whilst the new regulation does not make many precise stipulations such as how long data can be held, what constitutes the right level of security for data storage or the purposes for which an organisation can gather personal data, it does require that organisations can show their reasoning in each case, and that their actions are fair and lawful – so children’s charities will need to make policies of their own that are appropriate for safeguarding, parental consent etc. It’s worth noting that for the purposes of sharing their personal information via an online service, the age of consent is expected to be 13.

Click here to download the PDF

Sefton CVS have put together a number of useful resources and presentation that can guide you through GDPR which are available at the following link:

Local Authority Support for Non-EEA Migrant Child Victims of Modern Slavery: Research report.

Summary: Looks at how local authorities support and accommodate non-European Economic Area (EEA) migrant children identified as potential victims of modern slavery, including trafficking. Uses data from a review of the literature, an online survey of local authorities in England and Wales, and telephone interviews with 28 local authorities and six voluntary sector organisations. Finds that foster care was perceived in the literature and by the majority of interviewed local authority and voluntary sector stakeholders as the most effective placement type, particularly for children under 16. States that the majority of local authority stakeholders who took part in interviews reported that there is an under-supply of foster carers who are knowledgeable and trained in understanding the needs of these children and young people.

Authors: Cordis Bright
Publication details: London: Department for Education (DfE), 2017

Go to publication

Assessment of Physical Child Abuse Risk in Parents with Children referred to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Summary: Investigates whether parenting a child referred to mental health services leads to a higher risk of physical child abuse. Uses data from 59 parents and caregivers of children aged 6 to 11 years in a child and adolescent psychiatry department. Findings showed a two and a half times higher risk potential for physical child abuse in parents with children referred to mental health services.

Authors: Natalie Van Looveren, Inge Glazemakers, Linda Van Grotel, Erik Fransen and Dirk Van West
Journal: Child Abuse Review (Vol.26, No.6), November-December2017, pp 411-424

Go to publication

Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation with Young People and Parents: Contributions to a Twenty-First-Century Family Support Agenda.

Summary: Discusses family work with young people and carers affected by child sexual exploitation (CSE). Uses evidence from a literature review and data from an evaluation of the FCASE project, an early intervention project with young people at risk of or affected by CSE and their families. Finds that a separation between mainstream social work and CSE prevention work is not always helpful.

Authors: Roma Thomas and Kate D’Arcy
Journal: British Journal of Social Work (Vol.47, No.6), September 2017, pp 1686-1703

Go to publication

Social Care Commentary: Hidden Children – the challenges of Safeguarding Children who are not attending School.

Summary: Discusses safeguarding of vulnerable children who are home educated. Considers the risks to these hidden children, and uses findings from the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) survey to establish reasons for children being educated at home. Outlines what the law says about home education, what local authorities can do, and looks at the support available for children educated at home.

Authors: OFSTED and Eleanor Schooling
Publication details: London: Ofsted, 2017

Go to publication

Child welfare as justice: why are we not effectively addressing inequalities?

Summary: Explores questions raised by the Child Welfare Inequalities Project, a four-nation comparison of child welfare interventions in the UK. Looks at theoretical ideas from political theory, psychology and moral philosophy to explore whether inequalities in child welfare interventions should be addressed.

Authors: Gavin Davidson, Lisa Bunting, Paul Bywaters, Brid Featherstone and Claire McCartan
Journal: British Journal of Social Work (Vol.47, No.6), September 2017, pp 1641-1651
Go to publication

Exploring peer mentoring as a form of innovative practice with young people at risk of child sexual exploitation.

Summary: Explores peer support as a response to child sexual exploitation. Presents findings from a qualitative study of the Manchester Active Voices (MAV), a young people’s service which works with young women who have been exploited or are at risk of gang exploitation. Finds that peer mentoring may have emotional, practical and interpersonal benefits for vulnerable young people.

Authors: Gillian Buck, Angela Lawrence and Ester Ragonese
Journal: British Journal of Social Work (Vol.47, No.6), September 2017, pp 1745-1763
Go to publication

‘Pupil mental health crisis?’ survey report 2017: examining the current state of mental wellbeing in young people and children in the UK.

Summary: Findings from a survey of 603 school leaders and governors across the UK looking at pupil mental health. Findings include: 58 per cent of respondents said there is insufficient mental health provision for pupils available within their schools; 86 per cent said that social media has directly impacted the mental health of pupils; and 83 per cent said mental health issues have increased in the last five years.

Authors: Hub4Leaders and Leeds Beckett University
Publication details: [Leeds]: Hub4Leaders, 2018
Go to publication

Life in ‘likes’: Children’s Commissioner report into social media use among 8-12 year olds.

Summary: Looks at the ways younger children use social media platforms and the effect on their wellbeing. Findings from focus groups involving 32 children aged 8 to 12 years old include: the most popular social media were Snapchat, Instagram, and WhatsApp; social media was important for maintaining relationships, but this got more difficult to manage at secondary school, where friendships could break down online. Recommendations include: broadening digital literacy education in schools beyond safety messages, to develop children’s critical awareness and resilience, focusing on the transition stage from primary to secondary school.

Authors: Children’s Commissioner for England
Publication details: [London]: Office of the Children’s Commissioner, 2018
Go to publication

Peer-on-Peer Abuse Toolkit.

Summary: Toolkit to help schools prevent peer-on-peer abuse, identify it at an early stage and respond to it appropriately. Offers guidance on developing and introducing a peer-on-peer abuse policy. Topics covered include: developing an overarching policy and introducing it to the school community; tailoring your policy to your school’s specific context; risk assessment; appropriate language and approaches; ongoing protective work. Includes a template peer-on-peer abuse policy.

Authors: David Smellie, Adele Eastman, Katie Rigg and Carlene Firmin
Publication details: London: Farrer & Co, 2017
Go to publication

A model of engagement with children, young people and planners in the development of Children’s Services plans.

Summary: Describes the process for developing a model for enabling children in Scotland to take part in and influence how adults plan and run services for them in their area. The model was developed by Edinburgh Children’s Partnership as part of a pilot initiative to devise a methodology for engagement that is jointly owned by children, young people and professionals.

Authors: Scottish Government
Publication details: Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2017
Go to publication

Children England – Latest News

Briefing: The Children and Social Work Act
We’ve published a summary of the Children and Social Work Act (Part 1), and brought together useful briefings and commentaries relating to these provisions. It includes

  • Corporate Parenting Principles for local authorities
  • More educational support for previously looked after children
  • Significant changes to local safeguarding arrangements
  • Statutory relationships and sex education in all secondary schools

700,000 children living in unsafe rented homes
Analysis by the Labour Party shows that 1 million rented homes in England are unsafe and that almost 700,000 children are living in them, at risk from fire, vermin and other threats to their health and safety. Labour’s Bill to make homes fit for human habitation is currently going through the House of Commons
Child poverty exceeds 50% in some areas
The End Child Poverty campaign has published new figures for child poverty in each area which show that in 87 wards, a child is now more likely than not to grow up in poverty. They also indicate:

  • The areas of greatest deprivation have seen the greatest percentage point increases in poverty
  • The major cities continue to be the places with highest child poverty, including London, Birmingham and Manchester
  • There is huge variation between areas, with the local authority having the smallest number of children in poverty being the Isles of Scilly, at 5.17%

Sam Royston, Chair of the End Child Poverty Coalition, said,
‘It is scandalous that a child born in some parts of the UK now has a greater chance of growing up in poverty, than being in a family above the breadline. There can be little doubt that the Government’s policy of maintaining the benefits freeze despite rising prices is a major contributor to the emerging child poverty crisis.’

Insufficient progress on children’s health
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has published its 2018 report The State of Child Health in England. Whilst finding that some progress has been made in guidance for local authorities on child obesity and in collecting child health data, there is no evidence of change in areas such as:

  • Reducing child deaths
  • Developing research capacity to improve child health
  • Reducing child poverty

Children’s centres not being Ofsted inspected
Research by Action for Children has revealed that almost 1,000 children’s centres have not been inspected by Ofsted for over five years. The government’s freeze on children’s centre inspections was originally a short-term measure but two years later is still in place. Action for Children is calling on the Secretary of State Damian Hinds to review early years services and provide “a bold vision for the early years”.

The impact of free school meals
The Education Policy Institute has published extensive evaluation of universal free school meals for infants (UIFSM). Across the full calendar year, the estimated proportion of infants from the lowest quartile of household income receiving a free meal in the previous week increased from an estimated 25 per cent shortly before UIFSM’s introduction (equivalent to 34 per cent in a given school week) to 62 per cent (equivalent to 84 per cent in a given school week) afterwards. The research also found:

  • Some teachers thought attainment/progress in class (39 per cent); ability to complete deskbased activities (36 per cent); and ability to concentrate, not getting distracted (36 per cent) had increased as a result of UIFSM, with none reporting a deterioration.
  • 30 per cent of school leaders felt that pupils’ overall health had improved as a result of UIFSM being implemented, while 54 per cent of 57 teachers surveyed felt that the policy had had a positive impact on the health of children eligible for FSM.
  • 56 per cent of parents surveyed felt their child was more likely to try new foods following the introduction of UIFSM.

People power – supporting localism
The Commission on Localism, run by Locality and Power to Change, has published its research on how well policies supporting localism are working and what more is needed to empower communities. It calls for ‘radical action’ and recommends:

  • A strengthened partnership between local government and local people. For local government to embrace community-led solutions, including by transferring community buildings to local community organisations, more local control of budgets, and to strengthen community organisations who can make it easier for people to get involved in local activities
  • Central government to create a stronger framework for local decision making by strengthening the Localism Act including increased powers  for communities to take over important buildings with a new Community Right to Buy, to influence public services, through a new ‘services partnership power’, and by granting new powers to strengthen neighbourhood forums
  • Localism to be at the heart of the devolution agenda to ensure initiatives truly strengthen the power of community, enhance community accountability and neighbourhood control.

Framework, evaluation criteria and inspector guidance for the inspections of Local Authority Children’s Services.

Summary: Outlines the framework and guidance for inspecting local authority services for children in need of help and protection, children in care and care leavers in England, to be used from 2018. Describes the inspection principles and arrangements for standard, short inspections, and focused visits. Sets out arrangements for monitoring the progress of inadequate local authority children’s services, and for the action planning visit following an inadequate judgement. Explains the roles and expectations of inspectors including the inspection methodology. Includes information about evaluation criteria and grade descriptors.

Authors: OFSTED
Publication details: London: Ofsted, 2017
Go to publication

The relationship between childhood adversity, attachment, and internalizing behaviors in a diversion program for child-to-mother violence.

Summary: Explores the relationship between childhood adversity, child-mother attachment and internalising behaviours (anxiety or depression) among a sample of 80 young people arrested for violence against a mother. Key findings include: high prevalence rates of childhood adversity; insecure attachment predicted depression among females and previous experience of maltreatment and/or witness to parental violence predicted anxiety among females. Highlights this is the first study to explore childhood adversity among a sample of perpetrators of child-to-mother violence.

Authors: Eva Nowakowski-Sims and Amanda Rowe
Journal: Child abuse and neglect (Vol.72), October 2017, pp 266-275
Go to publication

“It’s just everywhere”: a study on sexism in schools – and how we tackle it.

Summary: Explores the experiences and views of students and teachers about sexism in schools. Uses data from a survey of 1508 secondary school students and 1634 teachers at secondary and primary schools in England and Wales. Findings include: 37 per cent of female students at mixed-sex schools have experienced some form of sexual harassment at school; 24 per cent of female students at mixed-sex schools have been subjected to unwanted physical touching of a sexual nature while at school.

Authors: National Education Union, UK Feminista, Sophie Bennett, Kevin Courtney and Mary Bousted
Publication details: [London]: UK Feminista, 2017
Go to publication

County Lines Violence, Exploitation and Drug supply 2017: National Briefing Report.

Summary: Provides a national overview on the threat of ‘county lines’ drug supply, violence and exploitation, a model which involves networks from urban centres expanding their drug dealing activities into smaller towns and rural areas, often exploiting young or vulnerable people. Findings from a survey of police forces in England and Wales, Scotland and the Metropolitan Police include: 65 per cent of forces reported that county lines activity was linked to the exploitation of children; and 26 per cent of forces reported evidence of child sexual exploitation. The National Crime Agency estimates that there are at least 720 county lines across England and Wales, the majority of which will involve the exploitation of multiple young or otherwise vulnerable people.

Authors: National Crime Agency
Publication details: London: National Crime Agency, 2017
Go to publication

Narrative fragmentation in child sexual abuse: the role of age and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Summary: Assesses the effects of age and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on narrative fragmentation in memories for child sexual abuse (CSA), by analysing the lexical complexity, cohesion and coherence of allegations within a group of 86 children, aged 4-17, who were victims of CSA. Finds that age played an important role in establishing narrative coherence; PTSD was related to narrative coherence and cohesion. Highlights how narrative fragmentation could be an effective diagnostic tool for understanding the effects of PTSD in children.

Authors: Sarah Miragoli, Elena Camisasca and Paola Di Blasio
Journal: Child abuse and neglect (Vol.73), November 2017, pp 106-114
Go to publication

Childhood adversities and post-traumatic stress disorder: evidence for stress sensitisation in the World Mental Health Surveys.

Summary: Investigates variation in associations of childhood adversities with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) according to childhood adversity type, traumatic experience types and life-course stage. Uses data from 27,017 individuals in the World Mental Health Survey. Findings show that physical and sexual abuse, child neglect and parent psychopathology were associates with similarly increased odds of PTSD.

Authors: Katie A. McLaughlin, Karestan C. Koenen, Evelyn J. Bromet, Elie G. Karam, Howard Liu, Maria Petukhova, Ayelet Meron Ruscio, Nancy A. Sampson, Dan J. Stein, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Jordi Alonso, Guilherme Borges, Koen Demyttenaere, Rumyana V. Dinolova, Finola Ferry, Silvia Florescu, Giovanni de Girolamo, Oye Gureje, Norito Kawakami, Sing Lee, Fernando Navarro-Mateu, Marina Piazza, Beth-Ellen Pennell, Jose Posada-Villa, Margreet ten Have, Maria Carmen Viana and Ronald C. Kessler

Journal: The British journal of psychiatry (Vol.211, Iss.5), 2017, pp 280-288

The role of callous/unemotional traits in mediating the association between animal abuse exposure and behavior problems among children exposed to intimate partner violence.

Summary: Examines the relationship between children’s exposure to animal cruelty, callous/unemotional traits and externalising and internalising behaviour problems, in a sample of 291 children aged between 7 and 12 recruited from community-based domestic violence services. Findings include: child exposure to animal cruelty was associated with callousness, which in turn was associated with greater internalising and externalising problems; callous/unemotional traits are a potential mechanism through which childhood exposure to animal cruelty influences subsequent behaviour problems.

Authors: Shelby Elaine McDonald, Julia Dmitrieva, Sunny Shin, Stephanie A. Hitti, Sandra A. Graham-Bermann, Frank R. Ascione and James Herbert Williams
Journal: Child abuse and neglect (Vol.72), October 2017, pp 421-432
Go to publication

Evaluation of the Safeguarding Children Assessment and Analysis Framework (SAAF): Research Report.

Summary: Aims to determine whether complex assessment undertaken by social workers using the Safeguarding Children Assessment and Analysis Framework (SAAF) would result in children being less likely to experience abuse or re-abuse than children whose social worker did not use the SAAF. Findings include: there was no evidence that SAAF resulted in fewer children being subject to a second child protection plan (CPP) or to a CPP following assessment which had not initially resulted in a CPP. Concludes that there was ‘no evidence of effectiveness’ for SAAF rather than ‘evidence of ineffectiveness.

Authors: Geraldine Macdonald, Jane Lewis, Deborah Ghate, Evie Gardner, Catherine Adams and Grace Kelly
Publication details: London: Department for Education (DfE), 2017
Go to publication

Gender differences in pathways from physical and sexual abuse to early substance use.

Summary: Examines the relationship between child physical and sexual abuse and early substance misuse amongst young people known to child protection services. Uses a sample of 11-13-year-olds (467 girls and 329 boys). Results suggest a significant indirect effect of physical abuse to early substance misuse as a result of externalising behaviour problems in girls only. Recommends integrating mental health and substance use services.

Authors: Julia M. Kobulsky
Journal: Children and youth services review (Vol.83), December 2017, pp 25-32
Go to publication