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Tackle homelessness to end poverty

The government's target to end child poverty becomes even more important in light of the number of children and young people who are homeless or live in sub-standard accommodation.

Traveller families require mobile solutions

Traveller children in the UK are among the most disadvantaged of all groups. In terms of education, Ofsted estimates up to 12,000 teenagers from Traveller families are not enrolled in school. For those who do attend, the picture is far from perfect.

Will sanctions or support ward off trouble?

One element of the "triple track" response in the new Youth Taskforce Action Plan is the idea of non-negotiable support. Some will immediately baulk at the concept: surely support has to be wanted to be effective?

Commissioner for Wales is up to the challenge

It was an "exceedingly drawn-out" appointments process, according to one Welsh politician. But Keith Towler came through the interviews, both with young people and politicians, to secure the position of children's commissioner for Wales, just under a year after the untimely death of his predecessor Peter Clarke.

The cycle of domestic violence can be broken

An incidence of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute of every day. This disturbing fact gives us a sense of the number of children who experience or witness abuse as part of their home environment.

Separation is never easy on the children

One of the major changes in the family landscape over the past 20 years has been the rise in the numbers of children and young people growing up in households affected by separation or divorce.

Parental involvement is not just for mums

Ensuring that fathers play an active role in family life is essential to children's wellbeing. Their involvement can make a big difference to a child's attainment and development. Yet too often in policymaking parenthood equates to motherhood and services are very female-orientated.

Editorial: Inherent dangers lurk in staying safe plan

With the publication of the Staying Safe Action Plan last week, the government has been at pains not to be seen to wrap children up in cotton wool. In presentation terms, the document's front cover depicts children happily participating in watersports, climbing and running. Meanwhile, the Department for Children, Schools and Families' press notice on the safety plan leads heavily on the proposal to encourage teachers to take pupils on outdoor school trips by providing advice and diminishing bureaucracy.

Just the job for parents who want to work

Welfare reform is a political hot potato at the moment. The Conservative Party's widely trumpeted Work for Welfare policy paper this month followed hot on the heels of the Department for Work and Pension's Ready for Work strategy, published in December.

Take better care of the UK's young carers

Support for carers has come under the spotlight lately. A Standing Commission on Carers was established in September, reporting to the Health Secretary, while a renewed bout of publicity will come with Carers' Rights Day on 7 December.

Let's support the parents with disabilities

There are an increasing number of families in the UK where the parents have learning difficulties. However, despite government commitments in England and Scotland to support parents with learning disabilities so their children's life chances will be maximised, the evidence suggests that neither health nor social care services are adequately meeting their needs. A recent report from the Norah Fry Centre at the University of Bristol highlighted that about half of all parents with learning difficulties have their children taken away from them.

Editorial: Children's services remain colour-blind

Findings of a study about engaging black and minority ethnic (BME) parents in children's services have been published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (see p4). Given government policy's emphasis on positive parenting and on connecting with hard-to-reach communities, it contains important messages for professionals who work with the young and their families.

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