The number of children aged under 11 referred to specialist support for issues including depression and anxiety has increased by a third during the last 3 years, while one-third of children referred to Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) were declined help.
- An adoptive parent describes sending his adopted son back to care as the hardest things he and his wife ever had to do, while admits that if his family had been given more support the situation might have been different.
- The interesting story of one of a tiny number of single men in the US who are adopting children from foster care.
- 17 councils have just received a funding boost of £3.4 millions to join forces and form 5 new Regional Adoption Agencies.
- The shocking number of children in care who won't get adopted in Coventry and Warwickshire.
- Support is falling short for vulnerable older teenagers, as problems do not magically disappear when children turn 18.
- Changes to asylum rules that would reunite hundreds of child refugees with their families are a step closer.
- Austerity will have cast an extra 1.5m children into poverty by 2021, and lone-parents, disabled children and ethnic minorities will be among worst- hit, says EHRC.
- Special: 13 Heartwarming Photos Of Children Getting Adopted
- Around 180,000 children live with relatives or friends, but kinship carers face a postcode lottery for assistance!
- ITV documentary reveals shocking scale of sexual abuse at boarding schools.
- 26% percent rise in sex crimes against children in Lancashire, figures from the NSPCC show.
- Friday Special: 13 Heartwarming photos of children getting adopted!
- Around 250 witnesses a year do not get help to give evidence to police and courts, while children wait an average of four weeks to be matched with Registered Intermediaries (RI).
- 9% of the 900-plus youngsters in care in Manchester have fallen victims to substance abuse, DfE’s data shows.
- A child was referred to local authority children’s services every 49 seconds last year, the Local Government Association reveals today.
- Gangs lure children and vulnerable people into moving drugs and money by promising gifts or protection for their families.
- Special: watch the new BBC TV series asking hard questions about social care and interracial adoption.
- 20% of siblings taken into care are split up, while almost 60% of LAs had difficulties placing sibling groups in Scotland.
- Almost half children and young people needing specialist mental health support 'refused' treatment in Northern Ireland.
- Thousands of vulnerable children used as drug mules by gangs, the National Crime Agency reveals.
- Children facing abuse and neglect in England get help only when their problems reach a crisis, say leading charities.
- A survey of 2,084 adoptive parents has revealed that 12% of adopted children were given a fixed-term exclusion in 2015-2016.
- 120 children were adopted from care during the year ending 31 March 2017 in Northern Ireland, the highest number in recent years.
- An extra 400,000 children will be in "absolute poverty" due to benefit cuts, a think tank warns.
- "There is no such thing as a suitable institution' for a child", the UN Disability Committee argues.
- A new NHS survey reports that 19% of youngsters in England have smoked, 24% have taken drugs and 44% have drunk alcohol, revealing that drug use is more common than smoking among children aged 11-15.
- Social worker finds no evidence to support allegations which caused a media furore in August about a 'Christian' girl fostered by Muslims.
- No victim of sexual abuse can be denied compensation on grounds of alleged consent anymore!
- Special - A new book (which has been turned into a free online resource) teaches children how to speak out about abuse.
On a recent paper, Farmer and Dance (2015) studied the crucial question (which remains unanswered) of what contributes to better adoption matching. They compare the effectiveness and outcomes of different family finding methods in adoption by studying adoption cases in 10 LAs in England selected on the basis that they were using different approaches. It should be noted that the small sample and the purposive sampling limit the external validity of the results.
What does help to achieve good quality and speedy matching?
1. The provision of full and accurate information for both children and parents. When the reality of children’s problems had not been shared with adopters or their preferences had been stretched, placements were vulnerable to disruption.
2. Making early decisions about widening the search. Concerns about the support provided to families in other LAs and financial constraints seem to delay the decision to feature children’s cases out of the authority.
3. Using formal processes to track and review cases through the system and making the matching decision at formal meetings. Formal processes, such as Planning Meetings from the start, at which a family finding strategy is agreed (including decisions about widening the search), and the strategy is tied to deadlines, can help to avoid delays.
The study also indicates an association between quality of the match (which the authors define as compliance with the matching requirements) and placement outcomes. 63% of poor matches (those with significant compromise) resulted in disruption or placements which were continuing, but their stability was threatened, while the same was true for only 5% of good or fair matches (those without significant compromise).
The trade-off between compromising and delaying the process is one of the main difficulties faced by social workers. What if a poor-quality matching is made and a child (and family) go through a painful process? Is it better to make a child wait longer and continue living in uncertainty? The above strategies seem to be able to minimise the difficulty of this dilemma as if the search is widened early; more options will be available and probably less poor-quality matchings will be made. More formality and clearer decisions on when to widen the search will decrease the delays and children’s waiting times.Read More
- The mental gap between rich and poor children has seen a more than threefold increase, a Scottish Government-funded study showed.
- Thousands of youngsters as young as 11 work as drug mules, for an illicit industry making up to £7billion a year.
- The number of children being put up for adoption has seen an unanticipated increase in Wales, creating an urgent need for adoptive parents.
- “Anybody considering giving a child a home should be prepared for challenges but also for love, joy and fulfilment”, an adoptive father - who could not imagine his life any different to this -confesses.
- More than 30 “looked-after children” in Oxfordshire has shockingly been left without schooling, while children services chiefs across England warn that the problem is not isolated to Oxfordshire.