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Cuts could enhance joint working

The party conference season is over and national politics is destined for a surreal few months in the run-up to the general election. Expect plenty more short-term children's policy announcements - some even eye- catching - as the main parties try to outmanoeuvre each other to strike a popular chord. Politics in Westminster will become increasingly sensationalised and polarised.

Policy into practice - Infant health

THE ISSUE: Being a new parent can be tough. Making sense of all the advice and information from relatives, magazines and experts to work out what is best for your baby can be an exhausting challenge.

Booze Asbos won't change behaviour

So many policy issues and concerns have crystallised around the new Drinking Banning Orders, which came into force on the last day of August, that it is difficult to know where to start. And the ensuing disquiet from many quarters is not just pertinent to these "booze Asbos" or "alcobos" (alcohol banning orders) as I prefer to call them.

The joys of sex should be explained

Earlier this year, the government confirmed its intention to make sex education compulsory in schools as part of the introduction of personal, social and health education to the National Curriculum.

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.

Policy into practice - Swimming

The issue: Swimming is an ever-popular sporting activity with children and young people, particularly during the school holidays and summer months. As well as getting active and healthy it can also be a great way to have fun with friends.

Policy into practice - Postnatal depression

THE ISSUE: More than 70,000 women annually are diagnosed with postnatal depression in the UK. This means that one in 10 new mothers suffer with symptoms ranging from mild depression to suicidal thoughts.

Policy into practice Health and wellbeing

The issue: Good health and wellbeing are vital if teenagers are to make the transition to adulthood successfully. However, consistent health inequalities combined with peer pressure, an increase in unsupervised time and the constant glorification of excess through the media are taking their toll.

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.

Policy into practice - Dealing with stress

THE ISSUE. Adults often complain that they feel stressed at work. However, recent research has highlighted that young people also suffer from stress. School, parents, siblings, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends and pressure to take drugs can all at times provide young people with considerable anxiety.

Policy into practice Children in hospital

THE ISSUE: Each year, around one in 15 children and young people will be admitted to hospital. Some of these cases require children to stay in hospital for a significant period of time, resulting in thousands of families facing the difficult emotional and practical challenges of supporting their loved ones.