To read all the latest National News in relation to children and young people, see the latest summaries below and if you are intrested to read visit (click) the corresponding heading (above the summary).
Help your local council and commissioners make better grants
The Grants for Good campaign has produced Principles of Good Grant Making - a short resource to help local and central government bodies to ensure their grant-making processes are fair, proportionate and effective. And where commissioners have moved away from grants towards contracts, this will help remind them of the many reasons to use grants as a sustainable way of funding services for the community.
The Justice Select Committee has called for offenders under 25 to be treated differently by the criminal justice system from older offenders. Arguing that the brains of young people aged 21 - 25 have not finished developing, the Committee's report concludes that "Young adults offend the most but have the most potential to stop offending" and makes recommendations including.
- Both age and maturity should be taken into significantly greater account within the criminal justice system.
- The strategic approach to young adults should be founded on the clear philosophy that the system should seek to acknowledge explicitly their developmental status, focus on young adults’ strengths, build their resilience and recognise unapologetically the degree of overlap between their status as victims and offenders
The Home Secretary has made a statement on progress to bring children to the UK from the Calais 'jungle', which is currently being dismantled. Emphasising that neither the UK nor the French government want to encourage more children to come to Calais seeking refuge, Amber Rudd said priority would be given to
- those likely to be granted refugee status in the UK; we will also prioritise
- those 12 years old or under
- we will consider those assessed as being at a high risk of sexual exploitation
UNISON has published the report A Future at Risk: Cuts in Youth Services finding that more than 600 youth centres have been shut, 3,650 youth staff have lost their jobs, and 139,000 youth places have been lost since 2012. This has coincided with youth services losing an estimated £387 million from their budgets since 2010. Calling for youth services to be made statutory, UNISON warns that 2016-17 will see:
- At least £26m more cuts in youth service spending
- 45,000 more youth service places removed
- 800 more jobs lost
- In excess of 30 more youth centres closed
In advance of the government's review of the role of children's centres, the Office of the Children's Commissioner has published a paper on family hubs as a development of children's centres. Reasoning that "The lack of readily accessible support for the entire family is having a troubling impact within the most vulnerable communities in which we see high levels of children who are in need, on child protection plans or who are coming into care", the paper recommends family hubs should incorporate service such as
- New parent services
- Childcare and early education
- Couple and relationship support
- The Troubled Families programme
- Communication support for children in the early years
The Guardian reports a shocking increase. NHS figures show a rise in self-harm amongst under-18s over the last 10 years, the Guardian reports. While self-harm has increased amongst boys as well as girls, it's amongst girls that the increase has been sharpest, with
- A rise of 42% in the number of girls admitted to hospital after poisoning themselves
- A rise of 385% in the number of girls treated for cutting themselves
- A rise of 286% in the number of boys treated for cutting themselves
- Experts including NHS leaders attributed this distressing trend to increased stress, pressure from social media and problems with body image.
The YMCA has published research amongst young people about their experiences of stigma related to mental health. 75% of young people surveyed said they believed people suffering with a mental health issue are stigmatised, and 81% said it primarily needs to be combatted in schools. The report recommends:
- Start young
- Address the lack of knowledge on mental health difficulties
- Train those working and interacting with young people on mental health
- Challenge the negative language around mental health
- Normalise mental health difficulties
- Encourage young people to access mental health support
- Empower young people to tackle stigma
Ipsos Mori has evaluated the impact of the Uniformed Youth Social Action Fund, which supported 14 uniformed groups to offer new opportunities for young people to get involved in social action. Concluding that youth social action has a positive impact in communities including increasing people's pride in their area and improving people's impression of young people, the report indicated a clear link between the positive impacts of social action on beneficiaries and the amount of interaction beneficiaries had with the young people themselves.
New Research conducted by Populus on behalf of the Charity Commission. This report presents the findings of the 2016 Charity Commission study into public trust and confidence in charities, conducted by Populus on behalf of the Charity Commission. As with previous surveys, the 2016 research monitors the level of public trust and confidence in the charity sector as well as other key questions. It also explores the issues that affect trust and confidence, variations in results by age, gender, region and socioeconomic group and other key demographic characteristics.