Home > Legal Opinions tagged Social Care

  • child sexual abuse inquiry could span a decade

    Gemma Clohessy

    Today Justice Lowell Goddard formally opened the independent inquiry into historical child sexual abuse, two years after the inquiry was first announced by Theresa May in February 2014. It is anticipated that the inquiry might be concluded in 2020 but could potentially span a decade. In her opening remarks she acknowledged that the task ahead […]

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  • when is the right time to leave care?

    Laura Broadhead

    The Government’s children’s commissioner has stated that vulnerable young people should be allowed to stay in care until they are 25. She notes that most children do not “wave goodbye” to their parents at the age of 18 and that the position should not be distinct for children in care. In the face of increasing […]

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  • child abuse reports rise by one-third whilst 90% of social workers...

    Sarah Erwin-Jones

    85 cases of child abuse are reported every day in England alone, according to the latest NSPCC report. That is a 38% rise on the previous year. It is to be welcomed that the stigma and shame others have previously felt appear to have less of a dampening effect, but having encouraged victims to come […]

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  • 488 children abused or ‘at risk’ of CSE in the West Midlands

    Daniel Goddard

    A project investigating the extent of sexual exploitation in the West Midlands has concluded that 488 children suffered, or were ‘at risk’ of, sexual exploitation (CSE) in the first six months of 2014. However, it is felt that this number is potentially “a significant underestimate.” The report, led by Stephen Rimmer, found that nearly one […]

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  • Ofsted report highlights pressure on child protection system

    Richard Hughes

    Children’s services are “creaking under the strain” according to David Simmonds, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board. His comments come in response to Ofsted’s Second Annual Social Care Report. The report found that only 10 of 43 children’s services inspected were providing good quality care. Of the remaining 33, 7 […]

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  • care cap consultation

    Robin Constable

    The Government is consulting on draft regulations and guidance on the cap on care costs due to be introduced on 1 April 2016, and the appeals system to consider whether the cap has been reached. Responses are due by 30 March this year, and the draft guidance contains various questions for consultees to respond to. […]

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  • Labour to introduce mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse

    Daniel Goddard

    Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper is to present MPs with an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill today that places a duty on individuals working with children to report suspected abuse. This amendment, if agreed, will result in liability for those who do not adequately report their concerns through the appropriate channels. These proposals come […]

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  • a move in the right direction for child exploitation?

    Daniel Goddard

    A report by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC), has found that 92% of Local Safeguarding Children Boards have implemented strategies to protect children from sexual exploitation. Concerns, however, remain about the implementation of safeguarding at the ‘frontline’ of practice. The inquiry report sought to identify the failings in practice and “was the most […]

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  • 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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