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Weekly News Bulletin 

Wednesday 17th August 2022

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Children England News


Unaccompanied children must be protected by the care system, not placed in hotels
Over 70 organisations have signed a statement led by Children England and ECPAT UK calling on the Home Office to stop placing unaccompanied children in hotel accommodation, in light of ECPAT UK's recent report showing that 1,606 children were placed in this unsafe emergency accommodation during the past year, and even more worryingly that 45 children disappeared from it over a 10-month period. 
"Our concern for these children cannot be overstated. Already vulnerable, separated and traumatised, isolated from family support networks, they are at greatest risk of going missing and of exploitation and trafficking. Some may have already been trafficked and are at significant risk of being re-trafficked. They need - and are entitled to - care in supportive foster or residential homes, with skilled professionals to help them recover in safety."
You can read the full statement here, and if you represent an organisation which would like to sign up to the statement, you can add those details to this form. New organisational signatories will be added to the public statement as time allows. 
Many organisations are adding their voices to the call to government to ensure #CareForEveryChild, as covered in the Independent last Sunday

Contents

Government and Parliamentary News 

Education, children's social care and offending
The Department for Education has published new statistics on the education and social care background of children cautioned or sentenced for an offence. These are broken down by area, with figures just published for areas including: Potential child victims of modern slavery
Figures published by the Home Office show that the numbers of both adults and children referred into the National Referral Mechanism as potential victims of modern slavery were the highest they've been since the Mechanism was established. Within the overall figures:
  • 39% (1,630) claimed exploitation as children
  • Of these, 9% (1,291) were male and 20% (332) were female
  • Child potential victims were most often referred for criminal exploitation (44%; or 722 children)
  • In this quarter, 589 county lines referrals were flagged, the highest quarterly number since this data was collected. County lines referrals accounted for 14% of all referrals received, with most of these for male children (76% or 446 boys)
  • A large proportion (80% or 813 individuals) of UK nationals were child potential victims
  • The majority of child potential victims were referred by local authorities, with the next most frequent referrals from the police
'Know Your Neighbourhood' Fund seeks intermediary grant-makers
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is seeking grant-making organisations to distribute funding for the new Know Your Neighbourhood Fund, which will award money to projects that generate volunteering opportunities, support social relationships and form new networks in high deprivation areas with low levels of regular volunteering, with a focus on testing scalable interventions. Part of the Levelling Up agenda and distributed through competitive bidding, the objectives of the Fund are:
  • To build the evidence to identify scalable and sustainable place-based interventions that work in increasing regular volunteering and reducing chronic loneliness.
  • To increase the proportion of people in targeted high-deprivation local authorities who volunteer at least once a month.
  • To reduce the proportion of chronically lonely people in targeted high-deprivation local authorities who lack their desired level of social connections.
  • To enable targeted high-deprivation local authorities, and the local voluntary and community sector in these places, to implement sustainable systems and processes that encourage volunteering and tackling loneliness.
The deadline for applications is 10am on Thursday 29th September 2022.

Transforming public procurement - government survey
A reminder that the survey of organisations who will be affected by reforms to public procurement is open till this Friday, 19th August. The Transforming Public Procurement programme aims to reform public procurement legislation and create a simpler, more flexible, and more transparent commercial system. The Procurement Bill - which will replace the existing EU procurement rules - is currently progressing through Parliament.

To prepare for the changes ahead the Cabinet Office is keen to hear the views of stakeholders from all sectors to inform development of the programme, guide implementation of the new reforms when they come into force, and help measure the impact of the programme over time.
 

Sector News and Publications


Cost of living: campaigners call on government to double support 
Organisations including the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Children North East and the 4in10 London Child Poverty Network have signed a letter to the two Conservative Party candidates competing to be the next Prime Minister urging them to at least double the support pledged for households on means-tested benefits, to help them cope with the cost of living crisis. They write:

"Many of our organisations work directly with these families and are becoming overwhelmed, too often unable to provide the support so desperately needed. This situation cannot be allowed to continue. As the prospective leaders of this country, we urge you to act now to demonstrate the compassion and leadership needed to tackle this issue head on."
  • The IFS has a useful summary of the worsening outlook for households now that inflation is expected to peak at 13.1% in the final quarter of this year and the energy price cap is expected to reach £3,600 for a typical household in October and £4,300 in January.
  • Civil Society brings together forecasts of what the cost of living crisis will mean for the charity sector
Councils call for sustainable funding for children's social care
Community Care reports that councils are increasing budgets for both adult and children's social care this year, in response to increasing costs and levels of need, but that they are calling on central government to increase funding of both systems as local 'plugging of gaps' isn't sustainable. The chair of ADCS's resources and sustainability policy committee Chris Munday said councils need: "a sustainable, long-term funding settlement for children’s services and government intervention into the placements market, otherwise children’s outcomes continue to be placed at risk. We urge the new prime minister to prioritise spending on children, they are our present as well as our future.”

Safe Passage seeks new Young Leaders
Safe Passage Young Leaders are a group of young people from refugee & asylum-seeking backgrounds, working together to make a difference and campaign for change. They are looking for new members to join the group. They say:
"Are you under 25 and from a refugee/asylum-seeking background? Do you want to develop your skills in campaigning and work together with other young people to make a difference and challenge injustice? Then join the Safe Passage Young Leaders today!"

Court waiting times have risen 43% in four years for sexual abuse cases
The NSPCC has warned the increasing delays in sexual abuse cases reaching court is damaging child victims' mental health. It says:

"For a child who is already suffering with depression, self-harming, suicidal thoughts or PTSD as a consequence of sexual abuse, the drawn-out process of waiting for a trial to start, and then be completed, can be extremely distressing and add to the significant mental health impact of the original abuse. There is also not enough access to therapeutic support to help young people cope and recover from sexual abuse. Often, only generic mental health services are offered rather than more effective specialist post-sexual abuse services. Even though there’s a high prevalence of PTSD in young abuse victims, only one in five young people who experienced PTSD say they have seen a mental health professional."

Sector Vacancies


At the Bell Foundation
The Bell Foundation is a Cambridge based educational charity working to overcome exclusion through language education and is delivering its vision through three strategic programmes which focus on pupils, young people and those involved with the criminal justice system for whom English is an Additional Language.

Course Administrator
Contract: Permanent
Salary: £22,000 - £26,609
Location: UK
Deadline: 24th August 2022
We are looking for a proactive, solution-focussed, and self-motivated individual to embed, maintain and monitor systems and processes leading to effective course administration across the Foundation’s programmes.  methodical approach to tasks with a high standard of accuracy and attention to detail is paramount, with strong logical and systematic thinking skills to develop and improve effective processes and systems. With excellent interpersonal skills, and a friendly manner, you will act as a point of contact for enquiries about the Foundation and its work.   


At Become

This role is #OpenToAll
 
Policy and Public Affairs Officer
Contract: Permanent, 35 hours p/w (part-time and flexible working arrangements considered)
Salary: £28,840
Location: Hybrid, including London and hot-desking options
Deadline: 9am on Tuesday 30th August 2022
Become, the charity for children in care and young care leavers, are recruiting for a Policy and Public Affairs Officer. This is a new and really important role for the charity, as they are looking to grow their policy and evidence base, and increase the reach and impact of their influencing work to create positive change for care-experienced young people. If you are passionate about improving the lives of care-experienced young people, and have a good understanding of policy development and how to influence national and local decision-making, this might be your dream job! Please see the advert and job description here for more details.



At Child Poverty Action Group

Senior Policy and Research Officer
Contract: Full time, 12-month contract (will consider part-time)
Salary: £41,966 - £46,384 pro rata
Location: London office
Deadline: Midnight, Sunday 4th September
You will work with colleagues across the organisation to strengthen CPAG’s evidence base so that it is better able to influence decision makers and secure lasting improvements for children in low income families. You will be working in a fast moving, high profile and complex policy environment and will need to balance short-term priorities with long-term objectives.

As well as developing policy positions and supporting CPAG’s influencing activities, you will have particular responsibility for setting up processes for collecting evidence, case studies and claimant advocates.

Events, training and consultancy services

At Children England

The Bairns Hoose
Date: Wednesday 7th September, 3 - 4pm
Free, online

Learn about the UK's first full 'Barnahus' for child-centred justice and healing, currently being developed in Scotland. Scotland's Bairns Hoose will be a child-friendly, safe and welcoming place for children to go to once a crime has been reported. Designed to feel like a family home, it will be warm, welcoming and familiar. It will provide a single-location alternative to courts, social work offices and police stations, allowing each young person to feel safe and supported, and able to recover and thrive.

At our free online forum you'll be able to:

  • Hear where the Barnahus model comes from and how it will work in Scotland
  • Learn what research and evaluation tells us about the impact of the model
  • Hear from project funders the People's Postcode Lottery
  • Ask questions of the project partners 
  • Discuss what England can learn from the project and how we can engage with its development


At Healthcare Conferences UK

CAMHS National Summit 2022 
Date: Thursday 22nd September
Online

This national conference focuses on transforming mental health services for children and young people, ensuring early intervention, and developing integrated services with clear care pathways from first intervention to crisis and inpatient care. The conference will also look at national developments and learning from the Covid-19 pandemic and how CAMHS has had to adapt and innovate to provide effective care. The conference will address suicide prevention and learning from suicide and also safeguarding and CAMHS. 

Get a 20% discount with code hcuk20che. 


Sexual abuse and mental health: reducing the impact of sexual abuse on mental health
Date: Friday 18th November 2022
Online

Researched and produced in collaboration with Paul Scates Peer Specialist, Campaigner and Survivor of Sexual Abuse, this important and timely conference focuses on the important issue of sexual abuse and mental health and reducing the impact of abuse on mental health. National updates, survivor perspectives, expert sessions and practical case studies will cover many areas including:

  • The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown on sexual abuse and mental  health
  • Meeting the national commitment to ensure victims of sexual abuse receive a lifetime of effective mental health care
  • Helping reduce the impact of abuse on later mental health problems
  • Reflecting on the lived experience from a survivor perspective
  • What does a gold standard sexual abuse pathway look like?
  • Delivering a recovery focused approach for survivors
Get a 20% discount with code hcuk20che.
For Children England's current events calendar please
click through to our website.

Up to date lists for our training services are also online, as is a price list for the courses you can request from us. 

Consultations

(new consultations and inquiries are marked in *bold*):

Closing 9th September 2022
Department for Education: Implementing the direct national funding formula for schools

Closing 11th September 2022
Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission: A new approach to SEND inspections Closing 16th September 2022
Department for Education: Early years funding formulae

Closing 21st September 2022
Department for Education: Implementing a new FE funding and accountability system

Closing 30th September 2022
Department for Education Understanding the use of unregistered alternative provision

Closing 9th October 2022
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Dormant Assets funding

Closing 8th November 2022
Department of Health and Social Care: Down's Syndrome Act guidance: Call for evidence
Children England's news bulletin is produced weekly and is designed to keep you up to date with the latest developments in children and families policy.

If you or your organisation have new research, campaigns or policy development in children and families work that you'd like us to share, send us the details and we'll include it in Children England News.
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