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Weekly News Bulletin 

Wednesday 9th November 2022

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Children England News


Leaders of children's charities and voluntary groups: please complete this survey
This is a moment of rapid change for the whole of the voluntary sector, as the cost of living bites and energy prices rise. Government needs to understand what community groups and voluntary organisations are experiencing right now. By filling out this survey, you can help the Civil Society Group, of which Children England is a member, to tell them.

This State of the Social Sector Survey is backed by all the major membership bodies including Children England, and carried out by the independent experts at Pro Bono Economics and Nottingham Trent University’s National VCSE Data and Insights Observatory. By completing the survey, you’ll be feeding your views directly into the government as it reviews which organisations will keep getting help with their energy, and makes further decisions on public spending in the autumn.

You may wish to have your latest financial accounts and energy bill statements handy. Please fill in the survey as soon as possible, so that infrastructure bodies can share early findings with the government before the Autumn Statement on 17th November.



Government's ambitions for the SEND review can't be achieved without investment in the specialist workforce
Children England is one of over 100 charities who have signed a letter to the Education Secretary and the Health and Social Care Secretary calling for government to address gaps in the specialist workforce that supports children with special educational needs and disabilities. Led by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, the National Deaf Children's Society, Speech and Language UK and Voice 21, the letter emphasises that:
  • A wide range of specialist professionals play a huge role in the development of many children and young people – including by providing direct support, identifying needs early, and supporting teachers to develop their knowledge and skills
  • But while the need for specialists is increasing, insufficient numbers are being trained to meet demand
  • Many are failing to be retained, and many are leaving the public sector altogether
"This must change. We are calling on the Government to use their response to the SEND Review to address gaps in the specialist workforce and ensure there will be sufficient specialist professionals to help children – now and in the future."
 

Contents

Government and Parliamentary News 

DfE ministerial portfolios confirmed
Responsibilities across ministers in the Department for Education have been confirmed:
  • Secretary for State for Education - Gillian Keegan
  • Minister for Schools - Nick Gibb
  • Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education - Robert Halfon
  • Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing - Claire Coutinho
  • Minister for the School System and Student Finance - Baroness Barran
Stuart Andrew MP confirmed as Minister for Civil Society
Following the departure of Lord Kamall, the role of Minister for Civil Society has been given to Stuart Andrew, who has been MP for Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough since 2010. His website reports that he has experience working in the charity sector, having worked at the British Heart Foundation and in fundraising for children's hospices. As well as civil society, his brief includes:
  • Youth
  • Tourism
  • Loneliness
  • Ceremonials including the coronation
  • Arts and heritage in the commons
  • Equalities
Ofsted Chief Inspector on caring for unaccompanied children
Ofsted's Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman spoke at the National Children and Adult Services Conference last week. Whilst most of her speech confirmed activities we already knew where under way at Ofsted, she also used the speech to express Ofsted's concern about the increasing numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children being placed in hotel accommodation by the Home Office, and Ofsted's support for the recent inspection by the Inspector of Borders and Immigration which revealed "safeguarding concerns, very limited education, and unclear or poor oversight."

Emphasising that all local authorities have their part to play in ensuring the Home Office can cease placing children in temporary hotel accommodation, she said: "We know that many of you are working hard to develop local provision for these very vulnerable children and accommodating the increased quotas. When we inspect, we will recognise those making good efforts as well as where progress is too slow."

Apply to run the UK Youth Parliament programme
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is relaunching the UK Youth Parliament programme to increase engagement with young people from across the UK, including with more marginalised young people and those that may not normally take part in a youth voice programme. The programme aims to build the UK Youth Parliament into an established part of the policymaking and parliamentary process, with direct access to decision makers, and improve feedback and recognition to young people. DCMS has just opened for applications from organisations interested in delivering the programme, with a grant of up to £750,000 available for two years from April 2023 to March 2025. The objectives of the grant are to:
  • engage young people in a UK-wide democratic process
  • enable young people to express their voices on issues that matter to them
  • engage young people at an early stage in the development of policy affecting them
  • test specific government proposals and policy with young people
The deadline for applications is 23:59, 18th December 2022.

Sector News and Publications


When Harm Remains: An update report on trafficked and unaccompanied children going missing from care in the UK 
New research from ECPAT UK and Missing People shows that a distressingly high proportion of trafficked children go missing from care, and includes moving testimonies from young people. The report shows:
  • one in three trafficked children go missing from local authority care
  • trafficked children who go missing do so an average of eight times each a year
  • the number of trafficked children who go missing from care has increased by 25% since 2018
You can watch the BBC news report on YouTube here, and listen to ECPAT UK CEO Patricia Durr and others discuss the situation on BBC London Drivetime (approx. 3 hrs 14 in).

Join the call to abolish 'No Recourse to Public Funds'
Praxis, the charity for migrants and refugees, is leading on a letter to the government expressing concern at the many migrant families who, having been shut out of welfare support by the condition 'No Recourse to Public Funds', are suffering even further as they are also shut off from emergency government support during the cost of living crisis. Praxis calls on government to abolish the NRPF condition. 

"No household should be barred from vital support when it's needed. Instead of allowing its policies to push people into destitution and onto the streets, the Government should take urgent steps to include all households in cost of living support schemes and abolish the use of No Recourse to Public Funds, which excludes people from the safety net." Email Josephine at Praxis if your organisation is interested in supporting its call.

Muslim Heritage Children in Care: Supporting Identity and Wellbeing and Change a Life campaign launch
There are approximately 5,000 Muslim-heritage children in the care sector according to the most recent research. This includes unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, a staggering 75 - 95% of whom it is estimated come from a Muslim background, and who have faced unimaginable trauma. An overwhelming majority of these Muslim children come from ethnic minority backgrounds, and are therefore overrepresented in the care sector, and face additional barriers including longer wait times for placement.

On Wednesday 17th November, My Family Group will be publishing its roundtable report Muslim Heritage Children in Care: Supporting Identity and Wellbeing and launching the Change a Life Campaign which looks to tackle the complex issues impacting Muslim-heritage children in care. The report provides a picture of care sector demographics relating to Muslim-heritage children, highlights the experience of the child in care, demonstrates the importance of nurturing faith identity and recognising diversity within the Muslim community, and explores the mental health of children in care. Although the report asks are embargoed, My Family Group is sharing some of their key considerations, and asking members to lend their support in time for its launch. The Change a Life campaign seeks to encourage:

  • anti-racism, cultural competency and faith-sensitive training across the care sector
  • uniform systems to capture faith data across the care sector
  • better faith-sensitive support for carers of Muslim-heritage children in care
  • more joined-up, collaborative and strategic working between the care-sector and Muslim organisations
  • commitment to support the mental health of Muslim-heritage children in care

If you would like to request a copy of the embargoed executive summary and share your logo in support of this campaign, please email Sabah.gilani@bcbn.org.uk by 15th November. 

Commission on Young Lives publishes its final report
Anne Longfield CBE, Chair of the Commission on Young Lives, has published her year-long Commission's final report, 'Hidden in Plain Sight: A national plan of action to support vulnerable teenagers to succeed and to protect them from adversity, exploitation and harm'.

The Commission's report proposes a new 'Sure Start Plus for Teenagers' network of intervention and support as the centrepiece of a wide range of recommendations to government, the police, schools, and others to tackle the deep-rooted problems in the children's social care, education, family support, children's mental health, and criminal justice systems.

The Bill of Rights is coming back - support CRAE's briefing 
The Bill of Rights, which was paused in its passage through parliament by Liz Truss's government, is due to return under Rishi Sunak's government, led by Justice Secretary Dominic Raab. Designed to repeal and replace the Human Rights Act, in its previous form the Bill of Rights Bill contained many weakenings of children's rights including their ability to hold public bodies to account, and it's possible that further provisions will be proposed by government as the Bill recommences its parliamentary journey. 48 children's organisations including Children England supported CRAE's briefing to MPs last time it was on the House of Commons agenda, and new supporters are now being welcomed before Thursday at noon in order to re-issue the briefing ahead of the Bill's return possibly as early as next Monday. Email Elsa at CRAE to give your organisation's support.

The voices of children in care - gathered over five years
Bright Spots' new 10,000 voices report highlights what children in care have said about their wellbeing over five years' worth of research. The questions it explores are the areas that children in care told Coram Voice's Bright Spots programme were important. It finds:

  • Although we often focus on the additional challenges care experienced children and young people face, many do well. 83% of children and young people feel that life is getting better.  

“I feel healthy, safe, and supported. From what my life was like 3 years ago it is now much, much better.” 

  • However, some children still struggle and there are areas where they do worse than children and young people in the general population. By the teenage years 1 in 6 reported low overall wellbeing.     

“I just keep being moved around. I have moved I think 7 times in the last 6 months. This makes me confused and scared. It has been dark and scary when I move, and I am told where, as we drive. I never meet the people beforehand and my things take time to catch up with me.” 

  • The findings also clearly showed the importance of not treating all children in care as if they are the same. Whilst they had things in common, the challenges that children and young people faced also differed with age, sex, placement type and ethnicity. 
Next week is Anti-Bullying Week
Anti-Bullying Week 2022 will take place from Monday 14th - Friday 18th November with the theme Reach Out. Organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, the week starts with Odd Socks Day on Monday, and there are lots of resources for schools, and parents and carers to bring the week to life for children. Individuals can also pledge their support. Organisations can also join the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

Supporting young Muslims with bullying
Muslim Mind Collaborative will launch a key resource in Anti-Bullying Week, which coincides with Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM). IAM works to shed a light on pervasive anti-Muslim prejudice.
  • Official Home Office figures show that last year, 42% of religious hate crime were directed at Muslims, against a 26% increase in hate crime.
  • Research suggests that the level of hostility Muslim’s face is greater than other minority groups, as evidenced in a report published in 2017, in which 70% of research respondents said that most White British people would mind if a close relative married a Muslim and 44% of respondents said they would mind themselves. The latter figure being more than double compared to other identified ethnic minority groups.
  • These statistics soberingly mirror the lived-experience of British Muslims, with a more recent report from the EHRC finding that 70% of Muslims said they had specifically experienced religion-based prejudice. This racism is both a strain on mental wellbeing, and an impediment when it comes to seeking help.

For young Muslims – who make up 1 in 12 students in British schools – these issues carry a salience. We know that prejudice in wider society can be mirrored in schools, and that there is already a growing mental health pandemic amongst young Brits. MMC’s Islamophobic Bullying poster aims to educate young people on the causes and dangers of Islamophobic bullying, signpost them to help, while also aiding schools to establish an environment where it is not tolerated. This resource is the first in a series of resources aimed at young Muslim’s mental health in schools. To request a copy of the poster, contact Sabah Gilani.

The cost of a child in 2022
Child Poverty Action Group has published its annual analysis of how much it costs to raise a child, with findings for this year showing how inflation and government support measures have affected families. The cost of raising a child to age 18 is nearly £160,000 for a couple and over £200,000 for a lone parent. Cuts to the value of social security between April 2021 and April 2022 meant that families have experienced the biggest deterioration in living standards since Cost of a Child reports began ten years ago. It also finds:

  • An out-of-work family with two children has less than half the income required to meet the cost of a minimum acceptable standard of living
  • In 2021, a couple working full time on the minimum wage, and a lone parent working full time on the median wage, were able to reach a minimum standard of living. They are not able to now
  • Childcare is a key driver of increased costs for in-work families – childcare now comprises around 60 per cent of the lifetime cost of a child for a couple working full time, compared to around 40 per cent in 2012
  • It is vital that benefits are uprated by at least 10.1 per cent (the September 2022 inflation rate) next year due to sub-inflationary uprating this year

Sector Vacancies


At Young Women's Trust
This role is #OpenToAll 

Senior Participation Officer
Contract: 21 - 35 hours per week, 6 month contract. YWT are happy to consider secondments.
Salary: £38,477 FTE
Location: London – near Angel/hybrid
Deadline: Midday, Thursday 17th November
The purpose of this post is to play a key role in mobilising young women to address the financial penalty they face, through supporting them to co-design our work, campaign, conduct peer research, blog and speak to the media. This post holder will work in the participation team and ensure that young women shape YWT’s ongoing strategy and day-to-day operations including through membership of our Advisory Panel and Board and our closed Facebook Group for young women; the ‘YWT Lounge’.  

Charity Commission: 3 board members
Commitment: 24 days per year for 3 years
Remuneration: £350 per day
Location: London
Deadline: 18th November 2022

The Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport wishes to appoint three Board members to the Charity Commission for England and Wales. These three vacancies are senior roles requiring people with the necessary non-executive skills and experience to assist the Chair in providing strategic leadership and oversight of the Charity Commission. 

The main tasks of the Board are to ensure that the Commission: 

  • effectively fulfils its statutory objectives, general functions and duties and appropriately exercises its legal powers 
  • is accountable to Parliament, the courts, and the general public regulates independently, proportionately and impartially and acts in good faith and in the public interest 
  • delivers its services within its funding agreement The Board achieves this by setting the Commission’s strategic direction, approving its budget and business plans, and setting the risk framework and policies within which the Chief Executive and her team operate and/or follow and for which they are held to account 

DCMS is committed to eliminating discrimination and advancing equality of opportunity in its public appointments. We particularly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups, those based outside London and the South-East and applicants who have achieved success through non-traditional routes.



At Become
This role is #OpenToAll

Evidence and Impact Officer
Contract: Full time, permanent
Salary: £28,840
Location: Hybrid working, open to flexible arrangements
Deadline: 9am on Monday 28 November 2022

If you are passionate about research, you love collaborating with others, and you want to make a positive difference to the lives of care-experienced young people, then this might just be your dream job! 

This is a new and really important role for Become – we want to grow our research and evidence base, and ensure that analysis of insights from across our work with care-experienced young people is at the heart of our policy-influencing approach.

If you think you can do the job well, and bring passion, creativity and enthusiasm to the role, then we want to hear from you!

Events, training and consultancy services
 

From Children and Families Across Borders:

CFAB’s International Child Protection Lecture: The Decolonisation of Social Work 
Date: Tuesday 15th November, 9.30am - 11am
Online
Cost: £5
CFAB will be joined by our guest speaker, Mthoko Ngobese-Sampson from the University of West London. The 90 minute session will focus on cultural humility, unconscious bias and the decolonisation of social work. We will be covering:

  • How social work has been shaped and influenced
  • Knowledge and power
  • The impact of unconscious bias and dominance Western ideals
  • Exploring other cultures and family structures.
  • Decolonising social work in practice
  • Child rearing practices and child family conferencing


From Healthcare Conferences UK:

Preventing Suicide in Young People & Children
Date: Thursday 17th November
Location: online
Cost: £250 for charities
This Sixth National Conference which this year will be held virtually focuses on Saving Young Lives – Preventing Suicide in Children and Young People. By attending this one day conference you will hear from expert speakers on how your services can reduce preventable suicides and save young lives. Through national updates, case studies from multi-agency settings and lived experience insight, this conference aims to set the scene for progress already being made and what needs to change to improve resilience, wellbeing, mental health support and effectively prevent suicide in children and young people. The conference will use case studies to demonstrate interventions that work in health, schools, universities and multi-agency settings. The conference will examine implementation of the self harm and suicide prevention competence framework for children and young people and will also reflect on suicide prevention in young people during Covid-19.

Receive 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 25th November 2022
Fundraising Regulator: Code of Fundraising Practice review

*Closing 15th December 2022*
Joint Committee on Human Rights: Human rights of asylum seekers in the UK

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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