Child abuse image offences
The NSPCC has released figures from a freedom of information request sent to 43 police forces across England and Wales, and a formal request for information from police forces in Northern Ireland and Scotland, asking them for the number of recorded offences for indecent images (still or moving) of children. Figures show that 22,724 offences were recorded in 2017/18, an increase of 23% on the previous year. The NSPCC Wild West Web campaign is calling on the government to adopt new laws to protect children online.
Source: NSPCC: Child abuse image offence recorded Date: 13 September 2018
Further information: NSPCC Wild West Web campaign
Cafcass has published its monthly care application statistics for England. In August 2018, Cafcass received a total of 1,179 new care applications. This figure is 5.1% lower than August 2017.
Source: Cafcass Date: 14 September 2018
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is hosting a Facebook Live event on 29 August 2018 at 1.15pm looking at how we should respond to child abuse. NSPCC lead on tackling sexual abuse Jon Brown is taking part in the discussion and will focus on the signs of abuse and neglect, and describe the NSPCC Letting the Future In service which supports and helps children who have been sexually abused.
Source: Facebook Live: how should we respond to child abuse? Date: 23 August 2018
Further information: Child abuse and neglect: NICE guideline [NG76]
NSPCC: Letting the Future In
The BBC reports that the National Education Union (NEU) has called for all private home tutors to face criminal record checks before being allowed to work with children. Currently, unlike classroom teachers, classroom tutors do not have to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before working with children.
Source: BBC Date: 17 July 2018
Further information: NSPCC: Trust to lead campaign
Children’s social care data: England
Ofsted has published inspection data and information about the providers and places of children’s social care in England and inspection outcomes for local authority children’s services. Figures show that: as at 31 March 2018, there were 2,209 children’s homes in England, a 3% increase on the previous year.
Source: Ofsted Date: 19 July 2018
Further information: Children’s social care data in England 2017 to 2018: main findings
Relationships and sex education and health education: consultation
The Department for Education (DfE) is seeking views on draft regulations, statutory guidance and a regulatory impact assessment for relationships and sex education and health education in schools in England. The guidance will become compulsory in all schools across England from September 2020. Proposals include: all schools will be required to teach compulsory relationships education in primary school; relationships and sex education in secondary school and health education (about physical and mental health) in all state funded schools. Lessons will also help young people keep personal information private, navigate the virtual world, challenge harmful content and balance online and offline worlds. The consultation closes on 07 November 2018.
Source: DfE Date: 19 July 2018
Further information: Relationships education, relationships and sex education, and health education (online survey)
Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education: draft for consultation (PDF)
Children affected by domestic abuse
The Home Office has announced an £8m fund to support children who have been affected by domestic abuse. The announcement highlights the work of the NSPCC’s Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together (DART™) programme which enables children and their mothers to talk to each other about the domestic abuse they have experienced, learn to communicate and rebuild their relationship. The NSPCC delivers the programme in three areas and has also trained 15 other organisations to provide the service in their areas. The NSPCC is looking to work with other organisations who want to take on the service, so that more children and families can benefit from it.
Source: Home Office Date: 21 July 2018
Further information: Children affected by domestic abuse fund: prospectus (PDF)
Domestic abuse, recovering together (DART)
Home alone during the summer holidays
The NSPCC has released figures from its helpline looking at calls from people worried that young children had been left at home unsupervised by a parent or carer during the summer holidays. Figures show that 849 referrals were made to the police during August 2017 by the helpline, a third of which were for children aged 5 or under. The NSPCC website includes tips and a tool to help parents and carers decide whether or not to leave their on their own for the first time this summer.
Source: NSPCC: Concern over young children left home alone for the summer holidaysDate: 19 July 2018
Further information: Is my child ready to be left alone? (PDF)
NSPCC tool: Is my child ready to be left home alone?
Delayed Statutory Relationships and Sex Education
The government was to bring in statutory RSE from September 2019, but the education secretary, Damian Hinds, has informed the Education Select Committee that this will not now be the case. Hinds says that it will be ‘available’ from 2019 and ‘probably compulsory from 2020′. Could this be a U-turn?
The Sex Education Forum has been shaping policy and practice on RSE and have written an article on their blog, ‘Waiting is frustrating though, so what can you do in the meantime?’. The article sets out three things schools can continue to do to improve the quality of RSE in schools.
Read the article here: http://www.sexeducationforum.org.uk/news/blog/tired-waiting
Reporting safeguarding incidents
Ofsted has published guidance on how local authorities should report a serious incident of child abuse or neglect, or the death of a child who is looked after. From 29 June 2018 local authorities in England must notify the national Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel within 5 working days of becoming aware of a serious incident. Local authorities should also report incidents to the relevant local safeguarding children board (LSCB) at the same time as notifying the panel. Notifications can be made online using the online form for notifications of serious childcare incident for local authorities. Children’s social care providers should use the separate notification form for adoption support agencies, children’s homes, independent fostering agencies, residential family centres, and secure children’s homes.
Source: Ofsted Date: 29 June 2018 / CASPAR
Further information: Notification of serious childcare incident for local authorities
Children’s social care providers notification form