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Can good services remain standing?

Like the suffocating drone of vuvuzelas, cuts continue to dominate the atmosphere in the children's services arena and in public services more generally.

The unpalatable truth of obesity

Let me introduce you to the Quality Street Six. They're a small group of young people I work with each week. And like many youth groups, eating and drinking together has become a big part of our meetings.

Cannabis row leaves us all in a blur

Back at the end of October, Professor David Nutt, chair of the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), was sacked after criticising policy on cannabis classification.

Gove gives joint working a rude jolt

Michael Gove's revelation to CYP Now that a Conservative government will remove obligations on local authorities to have children's trusts in place will come as a thunderbolt for children's services, particularly in their efforts to safeguard children and enable them to thrive.

Super-size kids vs super-size nannyism

We've all got our memories, rarely charitable, of school dinners. We've probably also got our memories of how we dodged the stodge, with or without our parents' consent. I saved for my first guitar by doing without for a term. I am not quite sure what I actually lived on.

Sector must influence the coalition

They say that a week is a long time in politics. Quite. As predicted in these pages for many months, the new Tory Secretary of State Michael Gove has renamed the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) as the Department for Education.

Joined-up thinking on mental health

The physical support needs of teenagers give only half of the picture relating to health and wellbeing needs. The teenage years are a notoriously difficult period, with many people feeling alone and unable to rely on their friends or parents for support. Often, teenagers feel self-doubt as they grow up through this experimental period, throughout which they are in search of identity and independence. But concerns about the emotional wellbeing should not just be limited to teenagers.

Election result prolongs uncertainty

At the time of writing -- on the historically uncertain afternoon of Friday 7 May -- the Conservatives were about to enter into negotiations with the Liberal Democrats about helping them to form a government.

Every Child Matters faces biggest test

The Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) pledged, in its annual report last week, to assess and build on the progress of Every Child Matters (ECM) for the next five years, as a policy priority for the coming 12 months. It is a good priority to hold, particularly given the uncertainty ahead.

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