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WillisPalmer have launched a Remote Assessment Service to deliver social work assessments safely during COVID pandemic.

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Scotland becomes first UK country to ban smacking children

Smacking children has been banned in Scotland through new legislation which has been introduced.

The Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019 removes the outdated defence of “reasonable chastisement” from the physical assault of children, giving them the same legal protections everyone else already has.

Children’s Minister Maree Todd said: “This outdated defence has no place in a modern Scotland. It can never be reasonable to strike a child. The removal of this defence reaffirms that we want this country to be the best place in the world for children to grow up so that they feel loved, safe, respected and can realise their full potential.

“We have worked in partnership with organisations including children’s charities, Social Work Scotland and Police Scotland on implementation of this Act. As part of this, we will continue to promote positive parenting and build on the support we already offer to children and families,” she added.

The legislation, brought forward by John Finnie MSP and supported by Scottish Ministers, was passed by the Scottish Parliament.

In Wales, the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill received Royal Assent and became the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020 in March this year. The law will come into force on Monday 21st March 2022 and will also end the physical punishment of children in Wales, and help protect their rights.

The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services Julie Morgan, who has led on the Bill, said: “There is no reason to ever hit a child - that may have been deemed appropriate in the past but it is no longer acceptable. Our children deserve to be treated with the same respect and dignity as adults.

“Although unfortunately the sealing of the Bill was held behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we are proud to have taken this historic step to help protect children and their rights,” she added.




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Knowledge & Resources

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

Christmas exacerbates anxieties among children

30/11/2020

Many parents are wishing they could cancel Christmas while children fear an unhappy family time, a study by Action for Children has found.

A poll of parents found that one in six would cancel Christmas if they could, rising even higher for those on Universal Credit for the first time this year. A survey of children [...]

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Referrals to children’s services rise following first lockdown

30/11/2020

More than 600 vulnerable children a day were referred to local authorities’ children’s services in the months following the first lockdown, it has emerged.

The County Councils Network reported that 630 young people a day were referred to children’s services in the months after the first lockdown, which began in March 2020, as local authorities reported [...]

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More court days for family cases this year despite restrictions

26/11/2020

There have been more court sitting days taking place on family cases this year than in any previous year, despite the lockdown, the president of the family courts division has said.

In his ‘View from the Chambers,’ Andrew McFarlane said this level of activity is necessary as it is not possible to conduct as many cases [...]

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