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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.

Young people in custody matter too

A government-commissioned review into the use of restraint in the youth prison system reported last December that force must be used as a "last resort".

Outstanding challenge for Ofsted

Ofsted-bashing has been on the rise for several months. Cries of exasperation over the way the children's services inspectorate goes about its business have come in fits and starts from all quarters.

Careers advice needs clear direction

We're in the darkest depths of recession, and about to enter a transformation in post-16 learning through the expansion of diplomas and apprenticeships. Young people could really do with some sure-footed careers advice right now.

The key to Ofsted's rehabilitation

Ofsted has attracted its share of flak in recent months, much of it justified. The verdict of its Annual Performance Assessment of Haringey Council in late 2007 as "good" is now notorious.

There is funding beyond Whitehall

There's no doubting that the 201.7m the government is investing in youth facilities will create some fantastic venues for young people over the next few years.

Tory policy still needs some improvements

There is a very real prospect that the next government will be a Conservative one. So it's encouraging that apart from the small matter of a global economic crisis, issues affecting children, young people and families took centre stage at the party's annual conference this week.

What we need is a trusting society, Darling

"What I want to avoid is getting ourselves in a position governments have done in the past where you face an immediate problem and cut back on things the country will need in the future," Chancellor Alistair Darling said last weekend.

Editorial: Don't fear stepping back into the ring

It was one particularly epic fight between Chris Eubank and Michael Watson in the early 1990s that really forced home the dangers of boxing. Watson was left in a coma for 40 days and ultimately disabled, which led to mass hysteria in the media and calls for the sport to be banned.

Laws can cement Labour's legacy for children

Children's Secretary Ed Balls characterises the effective working of children's trusts at local level as one of the key tasks of his second year in post, in our exclusive interview this week (see p16).

Editorial: Immigrant children remain children first

Children's rights campaigners won an important breakthrough last week with the decision that immigration officers will be subject to the same duty to ensure children's safety as other agencies (see p9). The requirement relates to Section 11 of the Children Act 2004, which is the duty to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This duty, which will apply to all staff employed at the UK Border Agency (UKBA), will be incorporated in the forthcoming Immigration Bill.

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.

Three key issues of the 2010s to fix in the 2020s

The new government will need to solve quickly a number of longstanding issues affecting vulnerable children and families if it is to offer a more optimistic outlook for a children’s sector worn down by a decade of austerity.

Police show why early help is everyone's duty

In a passionate address at the recent National Children and Adult Services Conference, Stuart Gallimore, vice-president of the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS), explained that cuts to his budget in East Sussex means he will have to make decisions about provision he knows don't "make sense" in the long run. He, like other DCSs, faces the dilemma to reduce funding to early help provision to maintain services for children in care and at risk - knowing that doing so could raise the vulnerability of those whose problems are less severe.

Strategy must boost youth opportunities

The government's long-awaited Civil Society Strategy recognises the "transformational impact that youth services and trained youth workers" can have on disadvantaged young people.

Incentives are key to halt school exclusions

The education committee's report on exclusions and alternative provisions makes it abundantly clear that the current system is failing some children, and that rising exclusion rates are a reflection of this.

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