4 Biggest Social Work Stories You Might Have Missed Last Week (27/06/16)...
Child neglect and child sexual exploitation cases are on the rise, social work course numbers are declining and the Department of Health has unveiled a new named social worker scheme pilot. Read on for more...
4. DoH 'Named Social Worker' Pilot Opens
Local authorities are now able to apply to take part in a named social worker pilot scheme aimed at those with learning disabilities and mental health issues organised by the Department of Health.
As part of the pilot, the DoH is looking to fund six councils to trial the 'My Social Worker' scheme, which will assign a named social worker to adults with autism, learning disabilities or mental health issues in order to strengthen service user - and their families' - rights.
The assigned social worker will be the main contact for service users and their families regardless of their setting and will be able to contest decisions made about their care.
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3. Child Sex Offences Involving the Internet Rises to over 3000
Over 3000 sexual offences against children involved the internet during 2015/16, according to figures published by the NSPCC.
Looking at figures gathered from 38 police forces in England and Wales, the charity found that 3,186 sexual offences were carried out against children - of these, 100 were rapes, and 272 of the victims were under 10.
Though it is now mandatory for police to record child sexual offences with an online element - known as a 'cyber-flag - the NSPCC is worried that not all police forces are using, or are indeed aware, of the practice..
2. Social Work Course Numbers Declining, Says HCPC
Twenty-eight social work courses closed in 2014-15 with only eight opened, according to new figures published by the HCPC.
The figures represented a decline of seven percent, with two-thirds of the closed courses being undergraduate programmes and overall closures being spread across full-time, part-time and work-based training schemes.
However, the HCPC were keen to point out that the reason for the drop was not an overall drop in teaching standards and availability, but the consequence of a recalibration in how learning opportunities were offered.
1. Child Neglect Cases Increase By 75 Percent Over Past Decade
Police-recorded child cruelty and neglect cases have risen by over 75% over the past decade, according to figures published by the NSPCC.
According to the charity's annual protection review - titled 'How Safe Are Our Children? 2016,' the number of cases has vastly increased from 6,616 in 2005-6 to 10,136 in 2014-15.
The rise is being attributed to greater public awareness of safeguarding issues and improvements in police practice regarding the recording offences, as well as the increasing likelihood that parents and carers will be involved in cases of neglect.