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Riot response requires long-term solutions, not knee-jerk policies

The violence across English cities this month triggered its own riot - of condemnation, debate and knee-jerk policy pronouncements. In the days that followed the first outbreak in Tottenham, an exercise in national soul searching took place through the media. Yours truly, for one, did the breakfast TV paper review on Sky News.

Progress in joint working must go on

The decision last week to strip the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) of government funding will inevitably raise concerns that any genuine "development" of the workforce will stall. A plan for how the Department for Education intends to take forward the quango's work is yet to be articulated.

Yell out about youth work's success

The New Labour years were hardly characterised by profligacy in spending on young people's services. It was generally only the most deprived areas that received more than 100 a head to spend on providing youth services.

A robust case for early intervention

Among the flurry of government announcements to come out in the dying days of this Parliament, last week's long-awaited early intervention paper is the most important.

Finally, youth sector receives a boost

Given that he spent seven years limbering up for the job in opposition, there was some relief when Tim Loughton was named as a children's minister in the coalition six months ago.

Hidden costs of payment-by-results

We are in an age of austerity where outcomes are critical. So it is difficult to take issue in raw principle with the government's desire to commission more public services on a payment-by-results basis.

It's time to respect children's rights

You wait ages for one 20th anniversary, then three come along at once. We've just marked the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 1989 Children Act. And this week it is 20 years since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child came into existence.

Education is the antidote to racism

The bear-baiting of British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin in his recent appearance on Question Time did nothing to advance race relations in our country.

The next commissioner needs bite

The Department for Children, Schools and Families has fired the starting gun to recruit a children's commissioner for England to succeed Sir Al Aynsley-Green early next year.

Editorial: The decline of the male youth worker

It's hard to imagine nowadays a time when male youth workers outnumbered female youth workers. But back in the early 1980s it was not unusual for youth services to employ twice as many male youth workers as women.

Can social investment really change the world?

"There are few moments like this when something happens that can really change the world". That was the proclamation of Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude last summer as plans gathered pace to develop the UK market for social investment. Was he going a bit over the top? Perhaps; but only perhaps.

Today's youth is vital to big society

Conventional wisdom might hold that youth participation -- any work that gives young people a voice and involves them in shaping services -- is near the front of the queue for cuts in our age of austerity.

Focus of spending must be balanced

It's official: the UK spends more money on child welfare and education than the average market economy. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report out last week, we spend just over 90,000 per child from birth to 18 compared to an OECD average among 30 member countries of just under 80,000.

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