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‘Parents with learning disabilities can be disadvantaged when being assessed due to strict timescales’

ISW Pamela Smith talks about her experience of undertaking the ParentAssess training for parenting assessments of parents with learning disabilities

Social workers carrying out specialist parenting assessment of parents with learning disabilities need to be assertive to challenge deadlines where it is in the parents’ best interests, an Independent Social Worker with more than 25 years’ [...]

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Young people at Oakhill STC held in rooms for 23 hours a day

Children and young people at Oakhill Secure Training Centre are being held in their rooms for 23 hours a day, a joint inspection has found.

Children have spent approximately 19 hours per day on average locked in their rooms on average since mid-July 2021, the centre’s records show and on some days, this has increased [...]

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Girls aged 12-15 are most likely to be groomed online

Girls aged between 12 and 15-years-old are the most likely to be a victim of online grooming, analysis by the NSPCC has found.

Girls are more likely to be targeted by groomers, with reports from police forces in England and Wales showing girls were the victim in 83% of grooming cases where the gender was [...]

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Recorded child abuse crimes soar by three quarters in four years

Police reports have revealed that the number of children being sexually abused online has grown by three-quarters in four years.

However, as politicians are set to scrutinise the draft Online Safety Bill, designed to protect children online, the NSPCC says that the bill falls significantly short of tackling this issue.

Sir Peter Wanless, chief executive of [...]

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Call for mental health funding amid surge in ads for virtual psychiatrists

The UK government has been urged to fund mental health services amid a flurry of advertisements emerging for ‘virtual’ psychiatrists and therapists.

Mental health charity Mind has warned that while virtual appointments offer a way for the health service to see more people at a lower cost, many people require face to face appointments to [...]

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Early intervention mental health hubs needed to tackle rise in young people with mental ill health

Early support mental health hubs, easily accessed without referral, are needed to tackle the rise in mental health problems among young people, the Local Government Association has urged.

Mental health practitioners and health and wellbeing practitioners would be available at the centres, which currently exist in some places. Young people can also access various other [...]

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Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

'Many of the parents with learning disabilities told me how fearful they were of the assessment process'


Sarah Lowe, founder of ParentAssess, explains why she set up the framework.

While it is commonplace to complain about the constraints within which we work, the timescales we have to adhere to, the frameworks we have to use, very few of us, when challenged with the ‘Well why don’t you do something about it?’ actually do [...]

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Blame culture results in risk aversion in social work


A blame culture in social work impacts on risk aversion in the social work profession, some respondents to The Case for Change have warned.

Publishing the Case for Change in June, chair of the independent review of children’s social care Josh MacAlister said: “This Case for Change sets out the urgent need for a new approach [...]

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Schools dealing with social work issues during COVID pandemic


Schools were forced to step in to support vulnerable families during the COVID-19 pandemic for many issues that were previously dealt with by social workers, research has found.

Schools found themselves helping vulnerable families with problems such as mental health problems, domestic abuse and poverty during the pandemic as more families were turning to schools [...]

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