Daily roundup: Mental health, Hamzah Khan, and jobseeker training

Neil Puffett
Monday, January 20, 2014

Clegg makes mental health therapy pledge; investigation launched into police handling of Hamzah Khan case; and Labour to fund skills courses for jobseekers, all in the news today.

The government has pledged to make mental health therapies for young people more widely available.
The government has pledged to make mental health therapies for young people more widely available.

Every child and young person with a mental health problem will have access to therapies by 2018, Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg has said. Clegg made the pledge at the launch of a government action plan outlining 25 key areas where mental health support and services need to be improved. He told the Independent: “We know that there are therapies that can really help. And that’s why it’s so important to me that the NHS will be extending these therapies to more children and young people."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is to investigate the way officers' dealt with concerns raised about Hamzah Khan who was found starved to death at his Bradford home almost two years after he died. The BBC reports that allegations of neglect had been made to West Yorkshire Police prior to four-year-old Hamzah’s body being found in 2011.

Jobseeker's with inadequate maths or English would have to go on basic skills courses as a condition of receiving their benefit under proposals by Labour. The Guardian reports that shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves, believes the pledge can be funded from the existing skills programme.

Takeaway restaurants could be stopped from opening near schools in Northamptonshire under proposals being considered by Northamptonshire County Council. The Northampton Chronicle reports that the idea features in a report commissioned by the council. The report also recommends encouraging venues frequented by children and supported by public money to resist sponsorship or product placement from companies associated with foods high in fat, sugar or salt.

The future of Cumbria County Council’s director of children’s services is looking uncertain, the Cumbria News and Star reports. Officials at the council told the paper that Julia Morrison has been absent from work for more than two months “for health-related reasons”. Last year, Ofsted rated the child protection service “inadequate” and plans to carry out a follow up inspection shortly.

An investigation into kinship care in Scotland has found a widespread failure of local services to support their needs. Between July and October 2013, charity Mentor UK spoke to 75 kinship carers and 34 professionals, practitioners and stakeholders. Kinship carers said they received little or no practical support managing complex family situations, while financial support ranged from £40 to £286 per week, it found.

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