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

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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

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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

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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

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Everyday coping with moral injury: the perspectives of professionals and parents involved with child protection services.

Summary: Examines how 10 parents and 38 professionals involved in the child protection system cope with moral injury using resources available in their everyday lives. Moral injury refers to the lasting harm caused by one’s own or another’s actions in high-stakes situations that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations. Findings include: coping strategies including psychological resources such as mental toughness, self-reflection and forgiveness; micro-systems through social support; macro-systems through engagement in advocacy and support from other parents; and spiritual engagement.

Authors: Wendy Haight, Erin Sugrue, Molly Calhoun and James Black
Journal: Children and Youth Services Review (Vol.82), November 2017, pp 108-121

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The Prince’s Trust Programme returns to Southport

The Prince’s Trust Team Programme is coming back to Southport. Team Programme is 12 weeks long with an additional 3-week work placement at the end. It focuses on promoting community engagement, employment skills and teamwork. Team is for those between 16 and 25 years old, who are NEET or working under 16 hours. We have two modules called Community Project and Supporting Others in the Community aimed at engagement and giving back to the local area.

If you know of any young people suitable for team, or a project and you need volunteers for in the Sefton area, please refer them to our phone numbers on the Prince’s Trust Leaflet attached or contact us directly for a chat.

We are based in the building behind Parenting 2000 on Mornington Road, Southport. Feel Free to pop in Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. Our next team start date is 22/01/2018.

For more information contact the Southport team on mobile;
07849 069 574 or 07860 839 294
Or download the informational flyer here;
The Prince’s Trust Team Programme 2018

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
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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
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‘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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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“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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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If I could talk to me.

Summary: Short film showing the perspective of young care-experienced parents who are at risk of having a child taken into care. Highlights that 1 in 10 care leavers aged 16-21 years old have had a child taken into care. Offers advice to support young parents in care proceedings, including: don’t take things personally; don’t try to do things alone.

Authors: JfK Law
Publication details: JfK Law, 2017

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Children England – Events & Consultations


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



Closing 12th February 2018
Department for Education: Changes to teaching of sex and relationships education and PSHE

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 – Parliamentary News

What Abouth YOUth?
Public Health England have released a further analysis of the 2014 What About YOUth? survey which examined the relationship between health behaviour and attitudes of 15 year olds with their reported levels of wellbeing. The analysis revealed:

  1. A clear link between wellbeing and affluence, with 15 year olds whose families were in more affluent groups and living in the least deprived areas reporting higher average wellbeing
  2. Young people who stated that they had a disability, long-term illness or medical condition reported lower wellbeing than those who did not
  3. Young people who engaged in behaviour which might harm their health such as drinking and smoking, having poor diet or exercising rarely, or who had negative feelings towards their body size reported lower wellbeing than those who did not
  4. Young people who described their sexual orientation as gay, lesbian, bisexual or ‘other’ were more likely to have lower wellbeing than those who declared themselves heterosexual. On average these young people also reported lower life satisfaction and happiness, and higher anxiety

The report urged practitioners and commissioners of health, social care and education to use the findings to design services that will have the most impact on improving young people’s wellbeing.

£29 million extra to boost councils supporting child refugees
Councils in England will receive additional funding to support unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) and care leavers, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid confirmed yesterday. The funding aims to alleviate some of the pressures on local services such as housing, education and health services and fund projects that support vulnerable child refugees to integrate into their communities, for example by providing English language classes.

Councils to investigate state of the SEND system
As the April 2018 deadline approaches for the transfer of all children and young people with SEND statements to health, social and education care plans, councils have launched an investigation into the state of SEND system. Having expressed concern that rising demand for support for children and young people has not been mirrored by increased funding, councils are struggling to cope. The Local Government Agency task and finish group are expected to deliver their findings in September 2018.

County lines debate in Westminster
MPs in the Houses of Parliament will today debate county lines exploitation, the practice that has seen a growing number of vulnerable children and young people, many of whom are in care or at risk of abuse, groomed to deal drugs in rural and urban areas by criminal gangs. Tackling county lines is one of the government’s six key priorities within their End Gang Violence and Exploitation strategy.

Joan Ryan MP, leading the debate, called for the government to “put in place a national, interdepartmental and interagency strategy to tackle county lines and to protect vulnerable children and adults”.
Child protection concerns for homeless young offenders
HM Inspectorate of Probation has published its annual report finding that one in three homeless young offenders, aged 16 to 17 years, are placed in unsuitable and unsafe temporary accommodation by councils. The report blamed this on a lack of suitable accommodation or joined-up working between support agencies and professional’s tendency to treat this group of children as adults. Calling for an end to this practice, inspectors said greater recognition of this group’s needs as vulnerable children, the majority of whom have experienced trauma and being in care, was required.

In response, Alison Michalska, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said: “We take our duties to look after vulnerable young people seriously but finding suitable accommodation in the midst of a deepening housing crisis against a backdrop of falling budgets is the reality we face.”

Government launches £1.7 million fund to boost public service mutuals
Organisations that wish to create new or strengthen existing public service mutuals can apply for a share of up to £1.7 million, Tracey Crouch, Civil Society Minister, has announced. £1.2 million of the funding, from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DMCS) department, will be available to provide access to advice across areas including legal, financial, marketing, human resources and business planning. The remainder will go towards pilot support programmes that promote collaboration between mutuals and voluntary and community organisations.

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.