Non-suicidal self-injury: wellness perspectives on behaviors, symptoms, and diagnosis.

Summary: Aimed at counsellors and other clinicians, covers topics relating to non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) including working with families, supervising counsellors, criteria for NSSI diagnosis, NSSI as a protective factor for preventing suicidal behaviour and advocacy around NSSI. Provides tools including questions to ask, hand outs for clients and their families, treatment hand outs and plans for counsellors.

Authors: Kelly L. Wester and Heather C. Trepal
Publication details: London: Routledge, 2017

Promoting young children’s emotional health and wellbeing: a practical guide for professionals and parents.

Summary: Provides ideas and activities designed to boost the self-esteem of children aged 0-5. Gives tips and instructions for exercises and activities including meditation, mud kitchens, group talks, treasure baskets and outdoor exploration, as well as advice on supporting adult wellbeing.

Authors: Sonia Mainstone-Cotton
Publication details: London: Jessica Kingsley, 2017

Childhood sexual abuse, attachments in childhood and adulthood, and coercive sexual behaviors in community males: main effects and a moderating function for attachment.

Summary: Reports on research that examined the association between attachment in childhood, child sexual abuse (CSA) and later coercive sexual behaviours in adult males. Data was collected from 176 males in Toronto on their coercive sexual behaviours with women, an assessment of attachment relationships with parents, their attachment styles as adults and their experiences of CSA and other adverse childhood experiences (ACE). Finds that the interaction between CSA and parental avoidant attachment behaviour was significant.

Go to publication

Authors: Calvin M. Langton, Zuwaina Murad and Bianca Humbert
Journal: Sexual abuse: a journal of research and treatment (Vol.29, No.3), April 2017, pp 207-238

Gender inequity associated with increased child physical abuse and neglect: a cross-country analysis of population-based surveys and country-level statistics.

Summary: Examines the relationship between gender inequity and child maltreatment, using caregivers’ reported use of severe physical punishment (physical abuse) and children under 5 left alone or under the care of another child less than 10 years old (supervisory neglect) and 3 indices of gender inequity from 57 countries, over half of which were developing countries. Finds three gender inequity indices to be significantly associated with physical abuse and 2 of the 3 to be significantly associated with neglect.

Authors: Joanne Klevens and Katie A. Ports
Journal: Journal of family violence (Vol.32, No.8), November 2017, pp 799-806

Time to transform: results of a survey of frontline professionals on the National Referral Mechanism for child victims of trafficking and modern slavery.

Summary: Explores professionals’ attitudes towards the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), the UK’s framework for identifying victims of human trafficking or modern slavery. Focuses specifically on the response to trafficked children. Key findings from a survey of frontline practitioners working with children who may have been trafficked include: over 80 per cent of respondents believed NRM decisions were not made in a suitable timeframe; 75 per cent felt decision-making should happen within existing child multi-agency procedures. Raises concerns about the NRM’s effectiveness in safeguarding trafficked children and calls on government to reform the system so it works more successfully for children.

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Authors: ECPAT UK
Publication details: [London]: ECPAT UK, 2017

Deconstructing incidents of female perpetrated sex crimes: comparing female sexual offender groupings.

Summary: Examines data from 1992-2012 on incidents of sexual offending committed by four groupings of female sexual offenders (FSOs): solo (29,238), coed pairs (one male and one female) (11,112); all female groups (2,669); and multiple perpetrator groups consisting of 3 or more FSOs and male sexual offenders (4,268). Finds that solo FSOs and all-female groups have similar characteristics, and coed pairs and multiple perpetrators have similar characteristics and that these categorisations are distinct from each other.

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Authors: Kristen M. Budd, David M. Bierie and Katria Williams
Journal: Sexual abuse: a journal of research and treatment (Vol.29, No.3), April 2017, pp 267-290

A Body Confident Future.

Summary: Looks at body image and the impact it has on the wellbeing of children and young people. Considers the extent, causes and consequences of body dissatisfaction among young people; the relationship between social media and body image; the role of schools in promoting positive body image; and health and body image. Makes recommendations to government including: the commissioning of research to address current gaps in the evidence base, including on poor body image in pre-adolescents, the link between poor body image and risky behaviours, and the long term impact of poor body image on young people; the development of resources to support the challenges faced by young men, LGBT+ youth, ethnic minorities, and those with disabilities or serious illnesses; and the establishment of an annual National Body Confidence week to act as a focus for body image activities.

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Authors: British Youth Council Youth Select Committee
Publication details: London: British Youth Council, 2017

Children’s Services: Spending, 2010-11 to 2015-16.

Summary: Illustrates the trends in councils’ spending on children’s services between 2010/11 and 2015/16, with a focus on spending on services for children in need and looked after children. Updates the report originally published in July 2016. Estimated figures taken from section 251 returns indicates that total spending on children’s services decreased by 9 per cent in real terms between 2010/11 and 2015/16; average spend per child in need increased by 10 per cent; and average spend per looked after child decreased by 2%. Highlights large variations in spend per head depending on the individual local council.

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

What does consent really mean?

Summary: Comic book format aimed at teenagers which explores the meaning of consent. Follows a group of teenagers chatting on their way home from school. They discuss the myths and taboos surrounding sex and consent, talk about their own experiences and debate what’s okay and what’s not. Includes questions and information to start a conversation with a young person, or to form the basis for a lesson or workshop on sex, healthy relationships and consent.

Authors: Pete Wallis and Thalia Wallis
Publication details: London: Singing Dragon, 2018

Violence and maltreatment in intimate relationships.

Summary: Overviews violence and maltreatment in intimate relationships. Includes chapters on: child physical and sexual abuse; child neglect; emotional abuse; intimate partner violence in adolescent and emerging adult relationships, including stalking and harassment and dating violence; violence experienced by older people and people with disabilities.

Authors: Cindy L. Miller-Perrin, Robin D. Perrin and Claire M. Renzetti
Publication details: London: Sage, 2018

Understanding the sexual betrayal of boys and men: the trauma of sexual abuse.

Summary: Guide to male sexual victimisation for both clinicians and lay people. Covers sexual assault in institutions, sex trafficking of boys, neurobiology and brain chemistry, gender and sexual confusions and dysfunctions, physicians’ treatment of sexually abused men’s medical problems and socio-cultural influences on processing and treating male sexual victimisation.

Authors: Richard B. Gartner
Publication details: London: Routledge, 2018

Children England – Events, Training and Consultations

The State of the State: What future for public services?
With Polly Toynbee and David Walker
Thursday 8th February
5.30pm – 8pm
The Free Word Centre, London

Join Children England for our 75th anniversary speaker event, with Polly Toynbee and David Walker, Guardian journalists and writers of Dismembered: how the attack on the state harms us all. Polly and David will give our guests a special talk, examining what they described in their most recent book as the ‘dismembering’ of the British state. Our Chief Executive Kathy will share a response to their presentation and examine the challenges ahead for creating a society that has its children at heart.​ Guests will be able to take part in a Q & A discussion and then join us for networking and a drinks reception.
Tickets are £40 each. This is a fundraising event, with all proceeds going towards our ambition: to lead an independent commission to redesign the 21st century welfare state so that it works for all children.

Poverty Proofing the School Day Conference: Tackling Poverty and Inequality in our Schools
Organised by Children North East
Thursday 25th January 2018

9:30 am – 3:30pm
Manchester Hall, 36 Bridge St, Manchester, M3 3BT

Poverty Proofing the School Day is an innovative programme that identifies barriers to learning for students who do not have the same financial resource as their better off peers. This conference will explain the poverty proofing ethos sharing best practice from schools and delivery partners across the country, as well as looking at the evaluation completed by Newcastle University identifying a wide spectrum of positive impact on the school day around inclusion, attendance and attainment. The conference will consider how schools in the North West can respond to the poverty proofing work and explore how it can be best implemented in the region.
For more information contact Early bird discount available until 11th December.


Closing 22nd February 2018
Department for Education: Keeping children safe in education

Closing 28th February 2018
Department for Education: Early education and childcare workforce: level 2 qualification criteria

Closing 2nd March 2018
Department of Health and Department for Education: Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision: a green paper

Children England – Sector News and Publications

School leaders on pupils’ mental health
A survey by The Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools for Hub 4 Leaders suggests that the vast majority of school leaders are very concerned about provision for the mental health of their pupils.

  • 83% said mental health issues have increased in the last five years
  • 97% believe more funding must be made available for schools to provide mental health support
  • 65% do not have a mental health champion amongst their staff, trained in mental health first aid, despite the government’s pledge to fund this for all schools
  • 77% think Ofsted should inspect mental health provision in schools

Policing of children’s homes
As part of its work to end the criminalisation of children in care, the Howard League has published a briefing on the policing of children’s homes. Although emphasising that police are still being called on to deal with very minor incidents in children’s homes, the briefing also describes initiatives by several police forces to help children’s home staff manage incidents without having to call the police and risk children in care ending up in the criminal justice system.

Combatting CSE in the Night Time Economy
The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse has published the results of a survey of workers in the night time economy, looking at their perception of the risk of CSE in businesses operating after 6pm, and how equipped they are to act on signs that a child might be being exploited. Levels of awareness and preparation varied widely, and the report recommends:

  • providing industry-specific awareness-raising information and guidance for night-time economy workers on the warning signs of CSE, and on what to do if ‘something doesn’t look right’
  • targeting awareness-raising efforts at night-time economy workers who may have close or frequent contact with young people at risk of CSE but may not currently consider tackling this to be part of their role
  • liaising with representative bodies for key night-time industries, to catalyse internal demand for information, guidance and awareness-raising and to support the ongoing provision of training and information-sharing

broadcasting more generally to workers and the public that ‘keeping an eye out’ for the welfare of children and young people in the night-time economy is a general responsibility, and using campaigns to reinforce the message that anyone can raise concerns with the appropriate bodies.

Children England – Parliamentary & Government News

Education Committee report on fostering
The Education Select Committee has published its report on foster care, finding that the system is under pressure, foster carers are not valued enough and children are experiencing too many placement moves. Its recommendations include:

  • Ensuring all young people in foster care are meaningfully engaged, have full access to advocacy services and where possible are placed with their siblings.
  • The establishment of a national college for foster carers, which will work to improve working conditions.
  • A national recruitment and awareness campaign to increase capacity in the foster care system.

Campaign on children’s snacking
Public Health England has launched Change4Life, a campaign to help parents cut down their children’s snacks to two a day, at around 100 calories each, in an attempt to reduce the amount of sugar children consume. PHE says children are on average eating three unhealthy snacks a day, and three times more sugar than the recommended amount.

GDPR guidance
The Information Commissioner’s Office has produced a set of FAQs to help charities prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force this May. It includes details of

dedicated advice line for small organisations



SWACA Quiz Night – Friday 16th February 2018

SWACA’s popular annual quiz is just weeks away, so pick your team, buy your tickets and join us for a fun filled night!!

SWACA Quiz Night
February 16th 2018
Quiz starts at 7.30 pm, doors open 7 pm
Tickets – £5 per person

Venue: The Marine Football Club
College Road
Crosby, Sefton,
L23 3AS

To buy tickets, please contact Neil Frackelton at or call 0151 922 8606 ext. 103.

Click here to download the SWACA Quiz Flyer 


Characteristics of Children in Need: 2016 to 2017, England.

Authors: Department for Education
Format: Online report

Summary: Reports on the number of children referred to and assessed by local authority social care services in England for the year ending 31 March 2017. Includes information on the numbers and characteristics of children in need and children subject to a child protection plan. Key findings include: the number of children in need at 31st March has decreased, but the overall trend remains stable; the number of children who were the subject of a child protection plan at 31st March continues to follow the upward trend of recent years.

Publication details:  Department for Education (DfE), 2017

Go to publication

Review of Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services.

Authors: Care Quality Commission
Format: Online report

Summary: Looks at the quality and accessibility of mental health services for children and young people in England. Findings from the review, commissioned by the Prime Minister, include: the system is complex and fragmented – mental health care is funded, commissioned and provided by many different organisations that do not always work together in a joined-up way; children and young people expressed major concerns about how long they waited to access mental health support and that mental health care did not always feel person-centred and responsive to their needs; safety is seen as the greatest overall area of concern in specialist child and adolescent mental health services.

Publication details: Care Quality Commission, 2017

Go to publication

Framing Internet Safety: The Governance of Youth Online.

Authors: Nathan W. Fisk
Format: Book

Summary: Examines youth internet safety as a technology of governance. Argues that some current theories of online risk move towards overly monitoring and policing the everyday lives of young people. Explores the governing principles of information technologies and offers recommendations for “cybersafety” by connecting the everyday use of the internet by youth, to trends in national infrastructure protection and corporate information assurance.

Publication details: London: The MIT Press, 2016

Research with Children Exposed to Partner Violence: Perspectives of Service-mandated, CPS- and Court-involved Survivors on Research with their Children.

Authors: Cynthia F. Rizo, Rebecca J. Macy, Dania M. Ermentrout, Jennifer O’Brien, McLean D. Pollock and Sarah Dababnah
Format: Article

Summary: Reports the findings from a qualitative study to find out more about the experiences of mothers of children exposed to domestic abuse, and the children’s involvement in research. Three key findings are reported: mothers reasons for allowing their children to participate in research; mothers reasons for refusing consent for children to participate; and strategies for increasing research participation of children exposed by domestic abuse.

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Ask, Listen, Do Survey

NHS England and the Local Government Association have been working to understand the many additional barriers faced by children, young people and adults with a learning disability, autism or both and their families in raising concerns and complaints. We want to take practical steps to improve people’s experiences and expectations of the complex systems in health, social care and education, and help organisations be more understanding and proactive in how they listen and respond to people’s concerns.

This work has developed into the ‘Ask Listen Do’ project. The team, which includes two new NHS England Family Carer Advisers, has launched a survey which asks about adult and children’s experience, and their families and paid carers, of raising concerns and making complaints in health, social care and education.

Click the link to complete the survey, closing 12th January
Ask Listen Do survey (two versions – online and easy read)

Children, Young People Mental Awareness Training 2018

Sefton Corporate Learning Centre are delivering a number of sessions to help professionals gain a basic awareness of some of the issues which affect children and young people’s mental health

Planned Dates;

Friday 2nd February 2018 9.30 – 4.30pm
Thursday 1st March 2018 9.30 – 4.30pm

Session Content:

This training will help professionals gain a basic awareness of some of the
issues which affect children and young people’s mental health, equipping
them with some practical approaches and strategies to promote emotional


  • Increased understanding of factors which contribute to poor mental
    health amongst children and young people.
  • Increased awareness of some of the key mental health issues
    experienced by children and young people, and how to spot their
  • Increased knowledge of the national and local picture, including
    services to support and signpost to.
  • Increased confidence in talking to children and young people about
    mental health, including some of the key strategies to increase and
    promote resilience.

Who is this training intended for?

All professionals working with children and young people in both group and
one to one.

For bookings;

For more information Click Here

Safe Sleep Audit – Findings and Recommendations

The Merseyside Safe Sleep Group has undertaken an audit to assess the compliance with the safe sleep pathway and the use of the safe sleep materials. Please find attached the audit report. Key findings indicate that there is limited evidence of implementation of the Safe Sleep protocol and campaign messages. The audit has identified a fragmented approach and it is not joined up. There is a call for a multi-agency approach to ensuring safe sleep conversations happen across services with families.

Download the audit here (Word doc.)

Public Perceptions of Charities providing Public Services

nfpSynergy has published research into the public’s attitude to charities providing services for the government, finding that fewer people are currently in favour of it than were in 2009.

  • The proportion who want charities to play a greater role in public services has fallen from over half (56%) to only 41% since 2009.
  • Charities are seen as the most acceptable providers of public services for the Government. 53% think that it is acceptable for charities to provide services in exchange for Government funding, compared to only 35% for private companies in the UK. More think that is unacceptable (34%) than acceptable (22%) for foreign companies to provide public services.

Two thirds (65%) of the public say that knowing that a charity receives both public and government funding for the services it provides would make no difference to their likelihood to support, and only 13% say that it makes them less likely to support.

The Future of the Charity Sector

Civil Society has published an interview with the Secretary General of Civitas, Danny Sriskandarajah, exploring his idea that we’re seeing ‘the beginning of the end for the charity sector’. Looking at leadership, democratic involvement and the need for new infrastructure that supports collective voice, Danny has many messages for charities including “We’re important parts, we’re important institutions, we need to be sustainable, accountable institutions, but our responsibility is to facilitate and stimulate wider social action that may go well beyond our own staff, our boardrooms and our own objectives.”

Rise in Number of Disabled Children Contacting Childline

NSPCC figures show that 8,253 children who called Childline identified themselves or were identified by counsellors as having a disability, special educational needs or a health condition. This is an increase of 13% on the previous year. The issues these children contacted the helpline for support with included:

  • abuse or neglect
  • emotional or mental health
  • issues related to their disability
  • bullying and cyberbullying

Community Care has reported on Laing Buisson’s analysis of the children’s sector as an appealing market for private companies to target. Consultancy Laing Buisson has published a report identifying the increasing demand, few providers and shrinking local authority budgets as creating opportunities for corporate providers. Comments on the article from Kathy Evans, Ray Jones and June Thoburn, amongst others, highlight the problems with outsourcing children’s social care to private providers.|SCSC|SC019-2017-1123

60% of Children Referred to CAMHS not Receiving Treatment

Data obtained by Spurgeons Children’s Charity shows that 60% of under-18s whose GP refers them to Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services don’t receive treatment. Whilst the number of children needing mental health support is rising, thresholds for receiving treatment are also rising and children dealing with issues like self-harm are turned away for not being in severe enough need. Spurgeon’s has set up a service for children who self-harm but who don’t have a diagnosis that would enable them to access NSH services.

Ongoing Rise in Home Schooling

A survey of local authorities by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services suggests there are 45,500 children being educated at home across England, although the real figure may be much higher because families are not required to register their decision to home school with their local authority. ADCS says it “believes parents and carers who opt to electively home educate should register with the LA and LAs should be resourced to establish systems and safeguards to assure themselves that children and young people who are home schooled are receiving a good standard of education, delivered in a suitable learning environment, and that they are safe.”

Reducing the Number of Still Births

The Department of Health has announced a new strategy for reducing the number of stillbirths in the UK, including an independent investigation by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch into all stillbirths, neonatal deaths and life-changing injuries to newborn babies. The target to halve the number of stillbirths is being brought forward from 2030 to 2025.