Daily roundup: Asylum seekers, police custody and bullying

Tristan Donovan, Neil Puffett
Friday, April 26, 2013

Advocates help young asylum seekers, government backs ruling on 17-year-olds in police custody, and overprotective parents increase bullying risk, all in the news today.

Guardians help improve the wellbeing of teenage asylum seekers. Image: Arlen Connelly
Guardians help improve the wellbeing of teenage asylum seekers. Image: Arlen Connelly

Young asylum seekers who get support from specially appointed guardians have higher levels of wellbeing, a study of a Scottish pilot project has concluded.
Aberlour Childcare Trust and the Scottish Refugee Council’s Scottish Guardianship Service provided teenage asylum seekers with independent advocates who helped them with a wide range of issues, including dealing with lawyers and building social networks. The evaluation of the service said the model could be replicated across the UK.

The government has agreed to treat 17-year-olds in police custody as children following yesterday's judicial review judgment. The Express reports that the Home Office does not plan to appeal the judgement. A Home Office spokesman said: "The government believes the welfare and protection of all those held in police custody, especially young people, is extremely important. We accept the court's judgment and will consider the next steps we should take to implement the changes."

Children with overprotective parents are more likely to be bullied than their peers according to a research review by the University of Warwick. BBC News said the review looked at 70 studies and concluded that parents who overprotect children from negative experiences make them more vulnerable. It also found that children with harsh or negative parents were the group most vulnerable to bullying.

Sandwell Council has set up a taskforce to identify the children most at risk of domestic violence in the wake of its recent inadequate Ofsted rating, reports the Express & Star. The new team is due to start work next month and aims to encourage adult and children’s services to share information about domestic abuse. In 2011/12 the council was notified of 4,840 cases of domestic violence but only 307 were assessed.

A total of 26 applications have been made for the post of youth police and crime commissioner in Kent following the resignation of 17-year-old Paris Brown. The Kent Messenger reports that the county’s police and crime commissioner told a public meeting that she was committed to finding someone to fill the £15,000-a-year role. Brown quit just six days after her appointment was announced following news stories about comments she made on social networking websites.

And finally, young people are undermining their chances of finding work by communicating with employers in text speak, a Chartered Institute of Personnel Development study has warned. The Metro reports that the institute also found a mismatch between employers and young people, who believed they could “just walk into their dream job”.

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