Children England News
Members! Please complete our Member Survey for 2022
Is your organisation a member of Children England? If so, please ensure that you or a colleague with a good overview of your organisation completes our Member Survey before Monday 15th August. The survey provides us with vital information on members' priorities and how we can support you best in the coming year. It should take less than 15 minutes. Thank you!
Learn about the Bairns Hoose
Join Children England at our free online forum to hear about the UK's first full 'Barnahus' for child-centred justice and healing, currently being developed in Scotland.
Called Bairns Hoose in Scotland to reflect its origins in the Barnahus and the heritage of the Scottish language, the Bairns Hoose will transform child victims' experience of justice and recovery in Scotland. The house 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.
Come along to hear how it works from project leaders Children 1st, and discuss how professionals and decision-makers in England can learn from and engage with the Bairns Hoose as it develops.
Wednesday 7th September, 3 - 4pm
Government and Parliamentary News
Youth Investment Fund opens
Youth services in the country’s most underserved areas are being encouraged to apply for a slice of a £368 million fund to improve the health, wellbeing, skills and opportunities for young people. The Youth Investment Fund, designed to create, improve and expand local youth facilities and services, opens for bids from 45 local authorities and more than 600 district wards in some of the most deprived areas in England. It will provide funding to build or refurbish up to 300 youth facilities over the next 3 years, providing safe spaces in which young people can socialise and participate in a wide range of activities, including those designed to help support them into employment.
Government response to IICSA report on child sexual exploitation by organised networks
The Home Office has published its response to the report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse on the subject of child sexual exploitation by organised networks, saying that it:
School exclusions statistics
- has commissioned Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services to undertake an inspection into the police response to child sexual exploitation. This national inspection will assess current policing practice across England and Wales, to ensure all police forces are employing the most effective approaches in protecting victims from child sexual exploitation and relentlessly pursuing offenders.
- is committed to issuing a renewed version of the Child Exploitation Disruption Toolkit in the Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy. The government accepts the Inquiry’s recommendation that an enhanced Toolkit should be published at the earliest practicable time, and has now delivered on this recommendation, having published an enhanced Toolkit on 19 July 2022.
- stopped short of adopting the Inquiry’s recommendation to create distinct guidance for creating problem profiles for child sexual exploitation by organised networks.
- does not agree with the Inquiry's recommendation to ban unregulated and semi-independent placements for 16- and 17-year olds in the care system, as a blanket ban would not help local authorities make the right decision for each child.
The Department for Education has published data on school exclusions from the academic year 2020 - 21. There were 3,928 permanent exclusions in the year, down from 5,057 in 2019 - 20. It should be noted that, as with the previous year, 2020 - 21 was affected by Covid restrictions: schools were open to all pupils in the Autumn term, however during the Spring term schools were only open to key worker and vulnerable children from January for the first half term, before all pupils returned during the second half term. The data also shows:
Guidance on accommodating Ukrainian children travelling without parents or guardians
- There were 352,454 suspensions, up from 310,733 in 2019 - 20
- The permanent exclusion and suspension rates generally increase with age, and are highest at age 14.
- Boys continue to have more than three times the number of permanent exclusions, with almost 3,000 exclusions, at a rate of 0.07, compared to almost 1,000 for girls (0.02).
- Boys also account for more than twice the number of suspensions for girls, at 248,000 compared to 105,000. This equates to a suspension rate of 5.86 for boys compared to 2.58 for girls.
- Gypsy/Roma pupils continue to have the highest rates of permanent exclusions (0.18) and suspensions (15.00). Pupils of mixed White and Black Caribbean ethnicity have the second highest rate of permanent exclusion (0.12). Pupils from Traveller or Irish Heritage ethnic groups have the second highest rate of suspension (11.22).
The government has published guidance for those delivering the newly-established aspect of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, in which Ukrainian children can be hosted in the UK without being accompanied by a parent or carer. It includes:
Sector News and Publications
Pressurised mental health services putting children and young people at risk
The Commission on Young Lives, the Centre for Mental Health and the Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition have published a report revealing the profound crisis in children and young people's mental health services in England and a system of support that is buckling under pressure, frequently over-medicalised and bureaucratic, unresponsive, outdated, and siloed. It warns that failing to support some young people with mental health problems could lead to more behavioural incidents at school, a rise in exclusions, and more children then becoming at risk of grooming and exploitation. The report makes a number of recommendations, including:
Children’s sector sets Care Review priorities for government
- A commitment from the next Prime Minister to fund an immediate £1bn children and young people's mental health wellbeing recovery programme
- Guaranteed mental health assessments for children and young people at points of vulnerability
- A national implementation programme to embed a whole school and college approach to mental health and wellbeing across all education settings in the country
- An ambitious programme of drop in mental health hubs delivered in the community
The Alliance for Children in Care and Care Leavers has set priorities following the recommendations of the independent social care review. Collectively, all organisations within The Alliance are calling for a care system which promotes resilience and emotional wellbeing by helping children and young people to recover from past harm. The priorities are:
The way forward for children's social care
- Rights: A Child Rights Impact Assessment must be conducted for the Government Implementation Plan.
- Voice: Children’s meaningful and effective participation must be sustained through the implementation of the review’s recommendations and beyond. There should be clear government plans in place to guarantee this.
- Corporate Parenting Responsibilities: All public bodies to have a duty to support care experienced young people, co-produce an action plan, and be scrutinised as part of Ofsted inspections.
- Mental Health: All children and young people receiving any tier of mental health support services should have an opt-out offer of independent advocacy. There must be increased emotional wellbeing support and dedicated ‘care experience aware’ & trauma informed mental health support for children in care & care leavers.
- Homelessness: Extend ‘priority need’ up to the age of 25 for care leavers who become homeless.
- Regulation: Make it law that every looked after child receives care where they live until they are 18. Protect the safeguards and integrity of residential children’s homes, including the continuation of regulation 44 visits.
- Independent Reviewing Officers: Retain the IRO role. While there is room for improvement in the IRO service, particularly in making them truly independent of local authorities, the removal of IROs would be a dangerous erosion of the rights of children in care and a threat to their welfare.
- No-one left behind: Make sure that specific groups of children in care are care leavers’ needs are addressed. This includes unaccompanied asylum-seeking children; children with unresolved immigration or citizenship issues; young parents; those in custody; those in the LGBTQ+ community; children and young people with disabilities and those living out of area.
A group of organisations including Children England member Love Barrow Families has produced a vision for a new children's social care system, diagnosing the current system as not fit for purpose, alienating families and failing to protect children. It emphasises that the stress put on families by poverty and inequality must be responded to by the social care system "with support rather than investigation and scrutiny and [we must] address inequality alongside helping individual families." Amongst many recommendations for change, and examples of good existing practice, it calls for national and local investment in a broader range of services including:
New video for children explaining diversion from the criminal justice system
What does 'diversion' from the criminal justice system mean? Children England member the Centre for Justice Innovation has created a video that seeks to empower children's understanding about diversion from the criminal justice system, the benefits it offers and what the process involves. Please watch and share with any young people who would benefit from it.
- secure affordable housing
- mental health services
- adequate benefits
- stronger communities
- inclusive, accessible parks, libraries and public spaces
Creating Stable Futures: Human trafficking, participation and outcomes for children
This report from ECPAT UK summarises the main findings from a 12-month participatory research study based on the voices of young people who have experience of modern slavery. The overarching aim of this study was to understand what positive outcomes might look like from the perspectives of young people who have experienced human trafficking, modern slavery and/or exploitation and what pathways towards these positive outcomes might be. Findings include:
Supporting young fathers
- Young people directly highlighted equality and freedom as important outcomes. They linked freedom to equality of opportunity – being able to build a future and make positive contributions to society.
- Barriers to positive outcomes were identified by young people as structural, systemic and discriminatory, such as their experiences of the immigration and asylum systems, the criminal justice system and support in care.
- Young people directly highlighted safety - being safe and feeling safe - as an important outcome, recognising the importance of safety as a contingent foundation for the realisation of other outcomes.
- Pathways to positive outcomes are contingent on ensuring work with children and young people is participatory, child-centred, and has a rights and entitlements approach that is underpinned by relational approaches built on trust.
Following up on their 2020 research report New Pathways for Young Fathers, Leeds Trinity University, Leeds Council and Daddilife have published further research in partnership with the County Councils Network into the experiences of young fathers since the pandemic. Based on their findings, their 13 recommendations for policy makers include:
Ending recruitment of under-18s to the armed forces
- Data on fathers as well as mothers should be collected at the earliest opportunity by all services focused on peri-natal care and wider family support.
- The needs of young fathers should be clearly and specifically incorporated within wider early help policy at national and local level.
- Public services for families and children – including early years, schools, and health services – must recognise their duty to meet the needs of fathers as well as mothers. Gender stereotyping or discrimination must not be tolerated. Inclusion policies for these services must clearly outline how young fathers’ needs should be recognised and met.
- Funding should be provided for all local authorities to offer dedicated services to support young fathers, through Children’s Centres and Family Hubs.
The campaign to end recruitment of children to the armed forces, led by Child Rights International Network, has a new website and new evidence showing how dangerous the experience of being in the armed forces can be for 16- and 17- year olds, even if they are only in training rather than being deployed in warzones. It includes:
Evaluation of support for care leavers with insecure immigration status
NCB has been testing four different, innovative service and advocacy models for young people with insecure immigration status in four different cities across England. New evaluation shows:
- The projects being studied helped these young people get back on their feet. This included giving expert guidance on the immigration and asylum systems, but also offering holistic support to improve young people’s wellbeing, mental health and ability to engage with services.
- This type of early intervention work to identify and address the needs of these young people can help avoid costs later on which would normally be borne by local authorities. Researchers estimated that these savings could be as much as £100k for just one young person. If these figures are multiplied by the number of young people with insecure immigration status supported by the local authorities, the potential cost savings are significant.
- Young people described how they benefited from the projects, helping them to understand their rights whilst supporting them to engage in informal support networks, and access education and training opportunities.
- Crucially, the projects enabled local authorities to better meet the needs of young people with insecure immigration status under their care. Local authorities particularly valued training for professionals and carers, and support for social workers and personal advisors on individual cases.
The cost to charities of grant application processes
New research by Giving Evidence for the Law Family Commission on Civil Society finds that the total cost of grant application processes for charities comes to about £900 million per year. Other estimates range between £442 million and £1.1 billion per year. The overall cost is increased by high numbers of ineligible and unsuccessful applications, in addition to unnecessarily laborious processes. Small and medium charities face particularly high costs to access funding, having to devote more than a third of their resources to applying for charitable grants on average.
- Lack of design: funders do not tend to purposively design their processes; rather they evolve organically over time.
- Lack of information: neither funders nor charities consistently track the costs of application processes or the gains that could be made by improving them.
- Lack of incentive: there is little external pressure or incentive for funders to improve their approaches, and charities are more strongly motivated to build relationships with funders than to share their views or data about application processes.
- Lack of skills: many funders do not employ staff with service design or digital skills. They are often focused more on holding down their staff and other organisational costs than on developing capabilities which might improve the efficiency or effectiveness of their grant-giving practices.
At ECPAT UK
These roles are #OpenToAll and do not require a degree
Head of Operations, Training and Quality Practice
Contract: Permanent, full time
Location: Hybrid: ECPAT UK London office & remote working from home
Deadline: 9am, Tuesday 9th August 2022
This is a new and pivotal role bringing together overall responsibility for safe and good quality operational practice including our direct work through our Youth Programme as well as our external Training and Practice Programme. Working closely with the CEO and with a remit to support operational development and practice improvement across the whole team as well as our external delivery of our training and quality practice programme. You will be responsible for staff and volunteers in our Youth Programme and Training and Practice Programme.
Fundraising and Partnerships Lead
Contract: Permanent, full time
Location: Hybrid: ECPAT UK London office & remote working from home
Deadline: 9am, Tuesday 9th August 2022
We're recruiting a Fundraising and Partnerships Lead to help us to raise funds and develop creative and innovative partnerships for our important and vital work. This is a critical role in the organisation, working across all of our programmes to support our overall vision and mission.
We are seeking an exceptional and enthusiastic communicator who can come up with exciting, creative, child centred, rights based and trauma informed ways of sharing our important work with funders and other partners and supporters. You will need to be able to produce and present convincing funding proposals, to scope out new opportunities and to make the case for ECPAT UK with a range of audiences.
Treasurer, board of trustees
Deadline: 9am, 31st August
We're recruiting a Treasurer to join ECPAT UK's Board of Trustees. This is a voluntary role ensuring governance and oversight of the UK's leading NGO working against child trafficking.
Our Board of Trustees is critical to our work and success and in shaping our future direction. We have recently expanded our Board and appointed a new Chair and we are now looking for a Treasurer to join the team.
Director of Services
Contract: Permanent, full time (part-time and flexible working considered)
Location: London / remote
Salary: £55 - £60,000
Deadline: 4th August
There are two principal elements to this role. We will look to you to lead, manage and develop the teams that are delivering our vital, effective services and training provision. We also know that there is huge potential to provide more, varied services to more young people and partners – opportunity areas could include therapy, wellness and health, as well as extended provision, coaching and mental health support to younger children – and you will help us realise this expansive, optimistic vision.
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.
Contract: Full time, permanent
Salary: £26,609 to £31,304
Location: Hybrid (Cambridge)
Deadline: 5pm, 10th August 2022
The Foundation has an exciting key role which provides high level administrative and EA support to the Director and Chief Finance Officer (CFO) and working closely with the Senior Management Team (SMT) and Board of Trustees.
We are looking for someone who is highly organised and efficient, with first class secretarial and administrative skills, who enjoys working at a high level in a fast paced environment with all stakeholders.
Salary: £22,000 - £26,609
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.
Events, training and consultancy services
At Children England
The Bairns Hoose
Date: Wednesday 7th September, 3 - 4pm
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
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
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:
Get a 20% discount with code hcuk20che.
- 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
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.