Daily roundup: Obesity, child protection and mental health

Laura McCardle
Friday, February 28, 2014

Morbidly obese children taken into care; Northamptonshire struggles with unnecessary safeguarding referrals; and bullying is main cause of self-harm study finds, all in the news today.

Data collected by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed that 74 morbidly obese children were taken into care in the past five years for their own protection. According to the Mirror, social workers removed the children from their families following concerns about their health.

The outgoing chair of Northamptonshire’s local safeguarding children board has said the county is being overloaded with unwarranted child protection alerts. The Northampton Chronicle reports a claim by Kevin Crompton that about half of urgent alerts should not have been raised to the highest level.

A survey of 4,000 children and young people aged under 25 has revealed that being bullied is the main reason they self-harm. The BBC reports findings of an online survey, which also highlights family relationships and pressure to do well at school as reasons for self-harm.

Research released by Tesco and youth engagement agency Livity shows that young people feel jobs guidance is out of date and they would benefit from access to careers advice from an earlier age, as well as more training in employability skills. The research also shows that half of young people worry about lack of opportunities and 64 per cent think businesses need to offer more help.

Mixed race children and young people face increased risk to their mental health, according to a report by the National Children’s Bureau. Its research highlights that children from mixed race backgrounds struggle to develop an identity, suffer from poor self-esteem and encounter discrimination from both black and white peers. The research also found that public services are not sensitive to their needs.

Sandwell Council has pledged to provide a wide range of support to looked-after children, young people and care leavers. The pledge will see the local authority take on parenting roles to promote a child's health, safety, education and independence. The council says good relationships between children and social workers will be core to the new system. 

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