This is the last WGPlus newsletter of 2011.  The Wired-Gov team would like to wish everyone a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.  The newsletter will start up again in mid-January.

For some there will be no ‘family Christmas’ - Resources aimed at helping children at risk of running away and the families of missing children (including an awareness raising film for use by frontline practitioners) have been launched by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.  This coincides with the launch recently of the Government’s Missing Children & Adults Strategy.

The key message of ‘My Choice’, a short animated film, is that however bad things may seem, children do have a choice about running away from home or care and there is support out there whatever their circumstances.  It has been developed in collaboration with representatives from local authorities, the police, schools & the voluntary sector, as well as independent experts.

It will form part of a new CEOP web area aimed at simplifying access by children & families to support services. The area has been developed in partnership with organisations including Parents & Abducted Children Together (PACT), Missing People, the Children’s Society and the NPIA’s Missing Persons Bureau.
Press release ~ CEOP: Missing and Runaway section ~ Free runaway helpline ~ HO: Missing children & adults strategy ~ HO: Missing Person's Taskforce report ~ NPIA: Missing Person's Bureau ~ Child Rescue Alert service ~ Parents & Abducted Children Together (PACT) ~ Children’s Society ~ look4them.org.uk ~ Directgov: Missing people - help and support ~ UK Missing Kids ~ FCO: Missing Persons ~ DfE: Young Runaways Action Plan ~ Commissioning, Delivery and Perceptions of Emergency Accommodation for Young Runaways ~ Responding to Young Runaways: An Evaluation of 19 Projects 2003 to 2004 ~ Young runaways ~ Supporting young people who run away or go missing - A briefing for Lead Members for Children's Services ~ Statutory guidance on children who run away and go missing from home or care ~ Childline: Homelessness & running away ~ Parenting across Scotland: Young runaways training pack ~ Aberlour: A scoping study of services for young runaways ~ WAG: Runaways ~ BBC – Hard Christmas ~ SPRU: Runaways and children on the edge of care research projects ~ SCIE Social Care Online: runaways ~ Young Runaways

ACIs it time to make healthy people on benefits ‘earn’ them by working for their local community? - The Audit Commission and the Local Government Association have launched a joint report: Work in progress: meeting local needs with lower workforce costs.  Aimed at councils as employers, it shows how local authorities across England are reducing their workforce costs, with some finding creative solutions.

The report comes with guides to pay benchmarking & comparing labour markets.  There are also free online tools to assess the ‘spend’ on agency staff and on each service area.  A separate publication gives more detail on 5 case studies.
Press release ~ Work in progress: meeting local needs with lower workforce costs ~ Southampton City Council outlines ‘privatisation’ blueprint ~ Tough Times: Councils' responses to a challenging financial climate ~ Back to Front ~ Surviving the Crunch ~ Under Pressure ~ Don't Stop me Now ~ Improvement Network: Finance Improvement Tool ~ Strategic service-delivery partnerships ~ Strategic Financial Management in Councils: delivering services with a reduced income ~ Financial management in a glacial age - Presentation and handout ~ Means to an end ~ Protecting the public purse ~ Valuable lessons ~ Room for improvement ~ Summing upCrunch time? ~ AC: Good practice and case studies ~ Services for Young People: Value for Money Self-Assessment Pack ~ 'Tired of Hanging Around' ~ www.chyps.org.uk ~ AC: Value for Money Profiles ~ Going the Distance: Achieving better value for money in road maintenance ~ Managing sickness absence in the NHS ~ NICE Response ~ Best Value Statutory Guidance

CCCWe cannot afford to waste anything, even rubbish! - Carbon budgets will be very difficult to achieve without the use of bioenergy and the successful development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, according to a review of bioenergy by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

The review concludes that a 10% share of bioenergy in total energy could be required to meet the UK’s 2050 emissions target, compared to the current share of 2%.  Bioenergy would ideally be used with CCS, which would allow for the removal of carbon from the atmosphere and for higher emissions reductions to be achieved.

The review suggests that a 10% share in 2050 could be feasible within sustainability limits, but any higher than this could be unsafe given sustainability concerns – and even at the 10% level, there may be trade-offs with wider environmental and social objectives.
Press release & links ~ OFT:  We cannot afford to waste this resource (first item) ~ Biosciences, Environment and Agricultural Alliance ~ DfT: Biofuels ~ Carbon Trust: Algae Biofuels Challenge ~ Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership ~ Environment Agency Netregs: Biofuels for transport ~ Sustainable Bioenergy: A Framework for Decision Makers ~ biofuelwatch ~ Renewable Energy Directive ~ EU: Biofuels & other renewable energy in the transport sector

CSJWhat is ‘standard’ a family? - Responding to the report from the Centre for Modern Families, Gavin Poole, Executive Director, of the think-tank Centre for Social Justice said; “The Centre for the Modern Family’s headline finding that only 16% of society say they fit the ‘traditional family stereotype’ hides the reality that over half of the people in their study support & aspire to marriage and raising children as a couple”.

Professor Cary Cooper of Lancaster University, one of the centre’s panel, points out that the findings on numbers of traditional families are due to the way the question was phrased (i.e. in terms of 2.4 children).  No one has 2.4 children, so what is perhaps most surprising is that 16% of people do identify themselves with that model.

The last census showed 6 out of 7 couples were married.  The 2010 figures on family structure published by the Office for National Statistics in April 2011 (from the ONS Labour Force Survey) show that 60% of families with dependent children are headed by married parents and, if families without dependent children are counted, married families make up 68% of the total.
Press release & links ~ CfMF report ~ Mental Health: Poverty, Ethnicity and Family Breakdown Interim Policy Briefing ~ Centre for Social Justice ~ Breakthrough: Ending the Costs of Social Breakdown ~ Fatherlessness, Dysfunction, and Parental Separation/Divorce ~ Strengthening families, promoting parental responsibilities: the future of child maintenance ~ History and Family: Setting the Records Straight. A rebuttal to the British Academy pamphlet Happy families? ~ Family breakdown is not about divorce ~ Why is the Government anti-Marriage? Family Policy derived from strong evidence would lead to policies which supported Marriage ~ Demos:  Having a baby will not ‘solve’ marital problems (second item)

HOMake sure you have a 'real' Christmas - The UK Border Agency has warned that Christmas shoppers looking for a bargain should be wary of counterfeit goods which flood the market in the run-up to the festive season.
Press release ~ Directgov: Counterfeit goods ~ BBC News - Church rebrands counterfeit goods for charity ~ Online tool to fight counterfeit goods trade

Latest Case Study: - Successful Outplacement of 7,000 Civil Servants at MoD - In line with many central government departments, the MOD has to reduce their budget expenditure and the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) planned for a 25% reduction in the cost of civilian personnel by 2015, bringing the size of the MOD civil service down by 20,000 staff to a total of some 60,000 civilian posts.

The MOD is keen to continue to support their staff leaving under this scheme and have negotiated a contract to provide total outplacement support including briefings, workshops, career management and active retirement options.

This latest case study explains how over 7,000 MoD civil servants have recently made the successful transition into new roles within the private and third sectors.

Click here to receive the full case study along with how outplacement support was recently provided across 19 separate locations for HM Land Registry.

Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive
Free Public Sector Webinar, 6th December....'Best Practices in Restructuring and Handling Redundancies'......click for more image.
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