4 Biggest Social Work Stories You Might Have Missed Last Week (15/08/16)...
The chair of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has warned law changes might be needed to stem care application rises, and the inquiry into historic child abuse has a new chair. Read on for these stories, and more.
4. Alexis Jay Appointed New National Child Abuse Inquiry Chair
The head of a probe into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham has been appointed chair of the national inquiry into historic child abuse.
Professor Alexis Jay was appointed by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, becoming the fourth person to take up the post after Dame Lowell Goddard resigned from it last week.
Her previous probe into Rotherham found that approximately 1400 children were subjected to sexual exploitation between 1997 and 2003.
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3. YJB Advocates New Court Guidelines to Combat Against Black and Asian Children Bias
The Youth Justice Board has urged the government to set out new guidelines to tackle biases against black, Asian and minority ethnic children and young people (BAME) in court.
Citing an over-representation of BAME adolescents in the court system, the YJB argue that there is an unconcious bias which exists right up to sentencing, and it needs to be addressed.
In comments made in consultation on guidelines for sentencing sexual offences and robbery, the organisation pointed out that 11 percent of charged BAME group children received custodial sentences, as opposed to only eight percent of their charged white counterparts.
2. Ofsted Multi-Agency Inspections' 'Deep Dive' Topic to Be Domestic Abuse
Ofsted have announced that multi-agency inspections into how agencies work with each other safeguarding and protecting children within local authorities will also focus on support available to children at risk of, or subject to, domestic abuse.
Ofsted's joint targeted area inspections (JTAIs) also focus on a 'deep dive' into an issue or subject within children's services - for example, the previous six have focused on child sexual exploitation.
The following six JTAIs will now focus on domestic abuse, focusing on what children's services, HMI Probation, HMI Constabulary and the Care Quality Commission are doing it to combat it,.
1. Cafcass Chair: Law Change Perhaps Required to Prevent Further Care Application Rises
Anthony Douglas, the chair of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, has admitted changes to legislation may be required to head off steeply-rising applications for children to be taken into care.
During an interview with Children and Young People Now, Douglas admitted he was looking into ways Cafcass could do more pre-proceedings work with local authorities, identifying children who needn't be subjected to care orders.
Instead, Douglas wants more focus on child protection planning so at-risk children can be looked after in the community, and legislation concerning care orders to be standardised across the country.