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Lame reaction to protection worries

The Children's Secretary has talked a tough game throughout the Baby Peter child protection storm, taking swift action at the outset in commissioning Lord Laming to review child protection arrangements in England.

It's good logic to halve child poverty

The fiscal stimulus, be it tax cuts or increases in government spending, has been all the rage on both sides of the Atlantic, as the boldest way to ride the recession.

In my view: A father's forgotten escape from poverty

The penultimate sentence of the follow-up book on the Milltown Boys - my 1980s study of disadvantaged young people on a Cardiff council estate - reads: "Like some of the other children of the more successful boys, their children will have little idea at all about the origins of their grandfathers". Nowhere is this more apposite than in the case of Tony Beech.

Right support vital to keep families together

The Clear Blue Waterreport by England's chief social worker Isabelle Trowler and the University of Sheffield is a brave, compelling and defensible reminder of the care we have to take over life-changing decisions about whether and why we think a child should be permanently removed from their birth parents.

Fighting for survival

A manager at one voluntary organisation talks about what the cuts have meant for her project's work, the fight to keep it going and her fears for the future.

Putting payment-by-results under the microscope

So the new high ground in the funding of public policy for young people is "payment-by-results". It is so easy to say, so immediately appealing that one can hardly argue against it. Quite naturally, in the difficult fiscal times to come, people will want value for money.

Policy into practice - Domestic abuse

The issue: The effects of domestic abuse on young people can be long lasting. More than a quarter experience depression, anger, guilt and low self- esteem later in life. About 750,000 children a year witness abuse at home, according to the Department of Health.

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.

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.

Never mind the inspectorate, recruit the right inspectors

On the face of it, the education select committee's call to split Ofsted into two separate inspectorates for education and children's care would represent a further step away from services centred on the needs of the whole child. It is a trend played out in several areas through the disappearance of children's trust arrangements and local authority children's services departments.

New adoption guidance should ease the strain

The decision that a child cannot remain with his or her birth parents is life-changing. And it is always sensitive and difficult, with some sections of the press talking as though social workers are deliberately and callously ripping families apart.

Cuts could enhance joint working

The party conference season is over and national politics is destined for a surreal few months in the run-up to the general election. Expect plenty more short-term children's policy announcements - some even eye- catching - as the main parties try to outmanoeuvre each other to strike a popular chord. Politics in Westminster will become increasingly sensationalised and polarised.

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