Opinion

Children Act well-intentioned duty now unrealistic

By Jacky Tiotto |

28 November 2017

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.

Fears over universal credit demand action

By Paul Ennals |

28 November 2017

The impact on poor people of the rollout of universal credit - the minimum six-week delay in receiving the first payment, the reduced amount that most claimants receive, the frequent slide into debt - is well known. But its impact on child protection has been largely overlooked.

Government must commit to make PSHE mandatory

By Derren Hayes |

28 November 2017

One of the watershed moments of 2017 for the children's sector was the government's decision in March to legislate for the introduction of age-appropriate relationships and sex education (RSE).

Services are at a tipping point from austerity

By Kathy Evans |

31 October 2017

Over recent months there has been a big head of steam building to put pressure on the government to tackle the children's services funding crisis in the next Budget.

Any whiff of abuse must be reported

By John Freeman |

31 October 2017

Last month, I attended part of the IICSA hearings into Rochdale and Cyril Smith.

Police show why early help is everyone's duty

By Derren Hayes |

31 October 2017

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.

Mental health paper must join up provision

By Anna Feuchtwang |

26 September 2017

The government is due to publish a green paper on children's mental health this autumn.

Co-production vital across child services

By Howard Williamson |

26 September 2017

The first session of this year's Conservative Party conference is set to focus on education, housing and political participation. All three policy issues have, in recent years, under the same party's watch, produced deep fissures of concern, pushing many young people to the margins and causing anxiety, frustration and sometimes alienation. At the heart of this lies a dramatic deterioration in the subjective emotional wellbeing of children and young people, who are struggling to find out where they fit in the modern world. The Children's Society Good Childhood report 2017 is testament to that.

National safety net for SEND funding needed

By Derren Hayes |

26 September 2017

There are few more emotive issues than school funding. The government was reminded of this earlier in the year when, in the run-up to the general election, it was forced to backtrack on plans for a national funding formula over concerns the changes would see many schools lose money. To address this, the government pledged in the summer an extra £1.3bn from existing Department for Education coffers to plug the hole in the schools budget. It means that under the revised national formula, published in September (News, p4), every school will now receive a per-pupil funding rise. Few would argue that the formula needed changing, but questions remain about whether its replacement will solve the current crisis.

Learning lessons from the Grenfell tragedy

By Paul Ennals |

29 August 2017

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.