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Blame games make the job of a DCS untenable

Last Friday, the Reading Post published a story about how children's services in the town received only one application for each of the three senior social worker jobs it advertised. On the same day, the Coventry Telegraph reported that 30 demonstrators had gathered outside the city's town hall calling for more action to be taken against the agencies involved in the Daniel Pelka case.

Learning lessons from the Grenfell tragedy

When we think about our priorities for keeping vulnerable children safe, most of the time our minds turn to topics such as child protection services, thresholds, or child sexual exploitation.

Harm of drinking during pregnancy lasts a lifetime

On 19 January 1725, The London College of Physicians told the House of Commons: "We do think it our duty humbly to represent that we have concern observed... the frequent use of several sorts of distilled Spirituous Liquors... and too often the cause of weak, feeble, distempered children, who must be instead of advantage and strength, a charge to their country."

Domestic abuse needs national conversation

According to the Office for National Statistics, seven women every month are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales and 130,000 children live in homes where there is high risk domestic abuse.

Opinion: Who carries the can when things go wrong in childsafeguarding?

What did you think last month when you heard that the Prime Minister of South Korea had offered his resignation in the wake of the ferry disaster? I don't suppose anybody thought that the PM had been at the helm of the ship that sunk, or that he could personally be held to blame for any lapses in the training of supervision of the ferry. But the culture in South Korea expects that those in highest authority carry responsibility for anything that goes wrong.

Opinion: Learning by doing has more impact than learning by rote

Here's an admission: I've recently come to the view that what I've believed for a long time about how I work is, if not wrong, woefully incomplete. Worse, I've always known this, subconsciously, but have ignored it because it did not fit my prejudices. For years, I have been promoting the need to understand the legal basis of what we do. I am one of the sad people to have read the year 2000 study on the law of education and the role of the local authority, from preface to appendices. I was one of the few students attending the lectures on education law during my Postgraduate Certificate in Education course.

Children Act well-intentioned duty now unrealistic

Often while walking between meetings my mind wanders back to the now familiar place it likes to pause: how to reconcile rising demand and reducing resource with high expectations that local authorities can and will minimise error in our child protection system.

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