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Farewell from WithScotland

WithScotland | 29 July 2016

Farewell from WithScotland

Senior judge appointed to head public child abuse inquiry

The Scotsman | 28 July 2016

A SENIOR judge has been appointed to take over Scotland’s controversial public inquiry into the abuse of children in care, the Scottish Government announced yesterday. Lady Smith has been put in charge of the investigation into historical abuse and replaces the previous chair Susan O’Brien QC who left a month ago claiming she was being undermined by the government. The new appointment was made by Education Secretary John Swinney who hopes Lady Smith can bring some stability to the inquiry, which has been rocked by two high-profile resignations.

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Supreme Court rules against Named Person scheme

BBC News | 28 July 2016

Judges at the UK's highest court have ruled against the Scottish government's Named Person scheme.  

Opponents of the scheme appealed to the Supreme Court in London after their case was dismissed by the Court of Session in Edinburgh last year. The system would appoint a named person - usually a teacher or health visitor - for every child in Scotland. Judges say some proposals breach rights to privacy and a family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

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Fears over help for neglected children as unique addiction project closes

The Herald | 22 July 2016

An austerity-hit charity has closed a unique project which helps children affected by drink and drugs misuse.  

Scottish children’s charity Aberlour set up the Bridges Project in Possilpark, Glasgow eight years ago to support children whose parents are addicted to alcohol or illegal substances. The acclaimed scheme included a teacher and practical supports for parents to make sure the children involved do not miss out on health care and education. But the charity has been forced to end the service, after funding from the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) came to an end.

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Final verdict on Named Person scheme due

The Herald | 21 July 2016

Judges will rule whether the Scottish Government's controversial named person policy is legal next week, as the Supreme Court publishes the outcome of a final appeal against the law.  

The case brought by the Christian Institute and three other charities was heard by five senior judges over two days in March after the groups claimed it amounted to an unjustified interference with family rights. However their argument that the Scottish Government had exceeded its powers was rejected at the court of session which dismissed the claims of campaigners in January 2015 and described them as "hyperbole" when their appeal failed in September last year.

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NSPCC issues warning over leaving children home alone

BBC News | 20 July 2016

As schools break up for the holidays, a children's charity is urging parents to think carefully before leaving children home alone over the summer. The NSPCC says last summer its helpline received 453 calls and emails from adults concerned about youngsters being left unattended during the holidays. More than three-quarters - 366 - were serious enough for information to be passed to police or social services.

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Holyrood to draft Scotland-specific Child Poverty Bill

BBC News | 20 July 2016

The Scottish government is to bring forward a Child Poverty Bill to tackle the "deep-rooted" causes of inequality. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the move while also re-appointing Naomi Eisenstadt as the independent child poverty adviser. Ms Sturgeon said the UK's approach to the issue was "fundamentally wrong", and is now seeking to develop Scotland-specific legislation. She said consultations for the new bill would be published over the summer.

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New Barnardo’s report says boys missing out on help to escape sexual abuse

Care Appointments | 19 July 2016

Boys who become the victims of sexual exploitation often miss out on help and support because they are reluctant to admit their abuse, new research from Barnardo’s Cymru has revealed. The children’s charity says that while professionals are often skilled at spotting the symptoms of abuse among girls, sexual stereotyping means that boys can slip through the net.

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Domestic abuse support projects share £2.3m of Big Lottery Fund cash

18 July 2016

Projects aimed at helping domestic abuse victims have been boosted by £2.3 million of funding. The money from the Big Lottery Fund has been divided between five initiatives in Dunbartonshire, Perthshire, Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire.

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Leaderless child abuse inquiry's costs have risen to £1.8m

Herald Scotland | 16 July 2016

The troubled Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has cost £1,800,000 since launching last year, new figures have revealed.

The statistic comes as the inquiry operates without its chair and a key panel member, after they both resigned, and when it has barely begun taking evidence from victims of abuse in care. QC Susan O’Brien quit as chair earlier this month, days after fellow panel member Professor Michael Lamb, with both citing excessive government interference in the inquiry's work.

The inquiry released the updated figures on its website, along with a statement insisting the inquiry's work was continuing, despite the loss of two of its three person panel.

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Spreading the child protection message

15 July 2016

VOLUNTEERS are being sought to help deliver a groundbreaking programme to primary aged children in Dumfries and Galloway. The NSPCC Scotland’s Schools Service aims to protect children against all forms of abuse, bullying and neglect. A team of local volunteers deliver the safety message locally and this is set to expand to cover even more youngsters across Dumfries and Galloway.

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Timetable for transfer of welfare powers to Holyrood

BBC News | 14 July 2016

MSPs will take some responsibility for welfare for the first time when Holyrood returns from its summer break. The UK government said it would lay regulations in parliament on Thursday which will devolve some of the powers to MSPs from 5 September.  

It means when the parliament sits again after recess, MSPs will be able to create new benefits in devolved areas. They will also be able to top-up existing payments such as Universal Credit, tax credits and Child Benefit.

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Government says Named Person scheme could be delayed by legal challenge

Holyrood Magazine | 11 July 2016

The introduction of the Scottish Government’s controversial Named Person scheme could be delayed due to legal action. Deputy First Minister John Swinney wants to see the UK Supreme Court's ruling on the legislation, which was overwhelmingly passed by MSPs, before giving the go ahead.  

The scheme, which will assign a named person to everyone under 18, was due to start from 31 August. However, if the judgement is not made in the next two weeks, that date will be put back.

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Swinney meets child abuse survivors over troubled inquiry

BBC News | 07 July 2016

Education Secretary John Swinney has met survivors of child abuse after some groups said they had lost confidence in the government's inquiry.  

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has seen two of its three panel members resign, and has been criticised by survivors groups. Mr Swinney rejected claims that the government interfered with the inquiry in "the strongest possible terms". He said he was determined to build on the good work of the inquiry.

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Social work takes centre stage in Edinburgh festival play

The Guardian | 07 July 2016

Villain follows the story of a child protection social worker, Rachel, who is hounded by the press and public for the outcome of a case involving a very young child.

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Exhibition of art therapy provides a window into the world of children in kinship care

04 July 2016

NOTHING demonstrates a new art exhibition better than the neon sign that reads “I love my gran”. Created from a note written and decorated with love hearts by a young child who had a difficult start in life, the sign, which was unveiled last week by actress Kate Dickie, takes pride of place alongside the work of famous painters in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

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