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Cost of custody should be devolved

The current system of placing children in prison operates under a perverse financial incentive. Local authorities, which are responsible for a range of prevention and early intervention work to divert the young from crime, are essentially rewarded for their failures. If children are sentenced to custody, they no longer pick up the tab for their welfare.

Editorial: The biggest workforce changes are yet to come

The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) last week issued a flurry of announcements to help develop the children and young people's workforce. Documents on next steps for the workforce, guidance on children's trusts, a framework for the management of children's services and England's first play strategy were all published on Thursday (see Analysis pp12-13).

Prevention, not detention, must come first

Children's Secretary Ed Balls last week told CYP Now that he wants to "strengthen the role the youth justice system can play in preventing youth crime." His words were welcome. But they need to be backed up with action.

Time to invest in the children's workforce

Ask children's services leaders - whether a director of children's services, head teacher or nursery manager - what motivates their staff, and most will say it's a passion to improve outcomes for children, not the wage that comes with it.

Resilience prevails amid Osborne's bleak choices

Like a piercing, bitter English winter, Chancellor George Osbourne's "autumn statement" was eye-wateringly harsh. It is, without doubt, children and young people growing up in the most deprived households who are being asked to bear the brunt.

Shhh... Every Child Matters lives on

Watch out, the language police are about. An internal Department for Education memo lists 30 terms the government wants consigned to history, and the words that should be used in their place. Many relate directly to children's services.

Welfare officers provide vital defence

Education welfare officers (who go by the glorious acronym of EWOs) provide a lifeline to vulnerable schoolchildren, and there are calls this week for their contribution to be properly recognised.

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