Home > Legal Opinions tagged Social Care

  • private schools feel the Savile effect

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    I have been dealing with claims arising out of institutional child abuse for over 15 years. Most of the claims my team has seen have been by claimants from deprived backgrounds complaining of abuse in children homes. Their claims for loss of earnings (the highest value of most serious claims) are limited, because most come […]

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  • sexual abuse cases – celebrity witch hunts raises profile of all p...

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, was acquitted of child abuse charges on Tuesday. Prosecutors denied that he had fallen victim to a “celebrity witch-hunt”. Whether or not that is the case, the continued publicity surrounding police child abuse investigations is raising the profile of such allegations. The involvement of celebrities simply raises the profile […]

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  • social workers must become cyber savvy

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    Local Authorities are now at risk of claims from children and young people who allege they were the subject of sex trafficking and abuse from paedophile gangs and others. The claims will be based on allegations that Social Workers and others who work with young people knew or ought to have known that children were […]

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  • Really? Social workers have to explain the benefits of being look...

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    Yesterday the Legal Government Ombudsman (LGO) recommended that a County Council pay a 16 year old £3,000 to be used in conjunction with its leaving care team to promote his independent living. He’d been abandoned by his parents and after refusing a voluntary foster placement or B & B offered by the Council he “sofa-surfed” […]

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  • Child abuse claims for trafficking – social workers can’t be respo...

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    A Serious Case Review (SCR) is to take place following the conviction of seven members of a paedophile ring yesterday. It will look at the actions of all the agencies involved. Cases like this often seem to end up with public agencies being held to account, in circumstances where it is difficult for local authorities to […]

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  • A pioneering approach to health and social care?

    Emily Birkett

    Leading national health and social care partners have launched an ambitious plan to encourage local innovation and integration between health and social care services as part of moves towards “fully integrated” services by 2018. ‘Integrated care and support: our shared commitment’ calls for expressions of interest from integration ‘pioneers’ to take on responsibility for pioneering […]

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  • Child abuse claims – each case really does depend on its own facts

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    Yesterday saw Barrister Barbara Hewson make some pretty controversial remarks. These have been widely quoted, and commented upon – usually with abhorrence.  The response to her article was entirely predictable but also shows that as matters currently stand, this is not an arena in which it is helpful to make sweeping generalisations. Our own experience […]

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  • Child abuse investigations – the pendulum swings again

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    When I first started dealing with child abuse group litigation in the late 1990s our perception was that police investigations were inefficient. They seemed to interview hundreds of people, charge tens of people, get eight or nine to trial, and secure convictions or guilty pleas in three of four cases. This ‘trawl’ style of investigation […]

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  • Funding social care – no one said it would be easy

    Christian Webb-Jenkins

    The Government has announced outline plans for how we will pay for the care we might need when we get old. This is a long overdue grasping of a very prominent nettle so any progress is welcome. Inevitably the new system will be very complicated. The £75,000 cap only covers “eligible needs”, and that needs […]

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  • Tailoring the law of vicarious liability for the benefit of Looked...

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    Today we have another Supreme Court Judgment on vicarious liabilityThis Appeal concerned whether a Catholic Institute could be vicariously liable for the abusive actions of its lay brothers, employed at a school by a third party. The Court held that there were two stages to consider: first whether the relationship between the abuser and the […]

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  • Jimmy Savile – Co-ordinating the response

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    Over the weekend further allegations have come to light that Jimmy Savile manipulated a position of power and trust to sexually assault patients. It is reported that he was a volunteer at Broadmoor Hospital for over four decades. That brings us allegations in social care, at the BBC, in hospitals and in a secure psychiatric hospital. Unsurprisingly, compensation claims […]

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  • “Listening to Troubled Families”

    Christian Webb-Jenkins

    A report by Louise Casey, an adviser to this government and the last on social issues, has been published today. It discusses the problems facing “troubled” families and proposes how to turn these families’ lives around. Louise interviewed 16 families. It will surprise no one that she found unemployment, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency and educational […]

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  • Are your social workers sufficiently proficient?

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    It has been reported that from 1 August the Health and Care Professions Council will be expecting social workers to meet standards relevant to their area of practice.  The standards can be found here . It’s a 20 page document, setting out the 15 key  expectations of social workers from being able to “practise safely […]

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  • Legal changes key to delivering dignity in care of older people

    Christian Webb-Jenkins

    Delivering Dignity is the latest in a line of reports highlighting deficiencies in adult care. While these reports are important, what everyone really wants to see is resulting improvements on the front line of service delivery. Greater clarity in the legal obligations on service providers would help, and there is perhaps reason to be more […]

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  • Passing on the PCT baton

    Emily Birkett

    After much debate and 2,000 amendments, the Health and Social Care Bill finally received Royal Assent yesterday. But what does this mean for Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), apart from confirming their eventual dissolution? After all, much work has already been done: PCTs are merged into clusters and are delegating their responsibilities to newly formed shadow […]

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  • Adoption scorecards v stable adoption

    Kate Bear

    Local authorities will need to ensure that quality is not compromised as the new adoption scorecards are introduced, the first of which is due out in the next few weeks. Under the scheme local authorities will be scored on how long it takes to find adoptive parents for children in care. In principle this is […]

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  • Have some compassion for carers too

    Kate Bear

    Today sees the publication of a report by the Commission on Improving Dignity in Care for Older People. The media coverage is misleading. It says this report is another jeremiad on elderly care in this country. Actually it is nothing of the sort. It looks to the future, and suggests ways to improve care. Rather […]

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  • Adoption reform – lets not apportion blame for the “b...

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    Government plans to launch a national adoption plan reform in the current system has met with mixed views. Last month it was announced that a record number of care applications had been issued in the family courts. If Michael Gove’s proposals that:- social workers should intervene “early and energetically” more readily, and adoption support is […]

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  • PCT’s community services plans “CIC’d” into touch

    Jonathan Hayden

    NHS Gloucestershire’s plans to transfer its community services to a newly formed community interest company (CIC) have been shelved following a judicial review challenge. The challenge was brought by a local resident who claimed that the primary care trust (PCT) had not followed a proper process before deciding to award the community services contract (reportedly […]

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  • Ignore the risk of grooming at your peril

    Dai Durbridge

    The debate on the safeguarding proposals in the Protection of Freedoms Bill continued today. And, regardless of expert views to the contrary, the government refuses to accept the risk of grooming posed by people who will be able to work with children unchecked. As the Bill stands a ‘supervised volunteer’ in a school would not […]

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