OfstedLet’s face it most parents still provide support even after their children leave home - The After Care report published by the Children’s Rights Director, Roger Morgan, looked at views from 308 care leavers both who had recently left care and those still in care but preparing to leave.  

The main messages from care leavers this year were that nearly half of those surveyed felt they left care too early and were not prepared well enough to leave.
Looking at the survey report findings many care leavers said they wanted help with money & practical support as well as learning about how to obtain and use their important documents such as passports, birth certificates and national insurance card.  One care leaver complained about not being able to get a job due to not having their national insurance number.
Press release ~ After care ~ What are leaving care services? ~ About care & leaving care ~ The Children (Leaving Care Act) 2000 ~ For more NCAS information click HERE and then search ‘Leaving Care’ ~ Directgov ~ Moving up: Leaving care ~ Barnardo’s ~ The Who Cares? Trust ~ DfE: Children Leaving care ~ BASW responds to Ofsted survey ~ 100 days of care ~ JRF: Resilience & young people leaving care ~ Mentoring for young people leaving care ~ Care Matters implementation plan ~ Leavingcare.org ~ Catch 22 ~ Care2work

DfEBetter yet, look to solve the problem with speedier adoptions - The Prime Minister has set out proposed changes to legislation to ensure that, when adoption is in a child’s best interests, they are placed in loving homes as soon as possible.  The Government has also published an Action Plan for Adoption to overhaul the system for prospective adopters and strengthen the performance regime for local authorities.
Just 3,050 children found new homes through adoption last year, the lowest since 2001.  A recent survey showed that one third of adopters were not satisfied with their experience of the adoption system.   Research has shown that with every year that a child waits their chances of being adopted decreased by 20%.
First press release & links ~ Second related press release ~ Action Plan for Adoption ~ LAs must adopt speedier placements
DECC:  Dealing with waste safely, not cost, is the real issue for nuclear power - The Government has published the response to its consultation on how potential sites for geological disposal of higher activity waste in England will be identified & assessed
It also published a Framework document which sets out a high-level description of the desk-based site identification and assessment process and the criteria that will be used.
Alongside this, the Government announced the Triennial Review of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) and is seeking the views of stakeholders who wish to contribute to the Review (by 2 April 2012).
Separately, the Government has published a strategy for waste planning bodies, regulators and waste producers on solid low-level radioactive waste (LLW) from the non-nuclear industries (such as hospitals and universities).  This provides further guidance on our policy to encourage the disposal of such low level waste locally, where suitable permitted facilities exist.
Press release & links ~ Consultation response documents & framework ~ Triennial Review consultation ~ Low level waste strategy ~ EU radioactive waste and spent fuel management directive ~ Ensreg: Safe Management of Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste ~ Government finalises new nuclear clean framework ~ CoRWM ~ HSE: Office for Nuclear Regulation ~ Nuclear Decommissioning Authority ~ No2nuclear power ~ Geological Society
HLCombinations of problems need joined-up solutions - A group of leading charities has welcomed the Social Justice Strategy (Social Justice: transforming lives) and its focus on better coordinated support for individuals facing a combination of problems such as mental ill health, substance misuse, homelessness and contact with the criminal justice system.
The Revolving Doors Agency and the Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) coalition - formed of Clinks, DrugScope, Homeless Link and Mind – are pleased to see clear references in the strategy for better co-ordination of local services to support these individuals.
Press release & links ~ The strategy – Social Justice: transforming lives ~ CBI comment ~ Revolving Doors Agency ~ Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) coalition  ~ Joint MEAM) press release ~ Clinks ~ DrugScope ~ Homeless Link ~ Mind ~ Niace comment ~ CSJ comment ~ Family, Poverty and Social Justice - The UK Perspective ~ Conservatives and Social Justice ~ 4Children comment on Government’s launch of Social Justice Strategy ~ JRF comment
DFIDThe alternative to scientific research could be starvation - The Department for International Development has won Best Technological Breakthrough at the Climate Week Awards for a project to develop drought-tolerant maize in Africa. The new kind of maize needs far less water in the soil than normal maize.  As well as growing it year round, it also means the maize can withstand times of severe drought.
Press release ~ Drought-tolerant maize ~ Sowing the seeds of scuba rice ~ Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) ~ Oxfam: Growing a Better Future   ~ Defra: Food (scroll down)  ~ Global food security ~ BIS - GOS: Food ~ BBSRC: Food Security ~ Climate Change & Food Security: Health Risks and Vulnerabilities of the Poor in Bangladesh ~ Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund ~ The Role of Relevant Basic Education in Achieving Food Security and Sustainable Rural Development ~ Assessing Water Risk: A Practical Approach for Financial Institutions ~ IISS: The simmering food crisis  ~ Report: Common Agricultural Policy after 2013 ~ Parliament: Agriculture & food security ~ The World Food Programme and Global Food Security ~ Foresight: Global Food and Farming Futures ~ Foresight: Land Use Futures ~ UK Cross-Government Strategy for Food Research and Innovation ~ EFRA Committee report on securing food supplies up to 2050 ~ Ensuring UK food security in a changing world ~ United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation ~ FAO - Special programme for food security ~ Chatham House - UK Food Supply in the 21st Century: The New Dynamic (plus related documents) ~ Eldis – Food Security ~ Oxfam: Food security documents ~ Global Food Trends - Overview ~ FIVIMS - Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping ~ Christian Aid: Fighting food shortages – Hungry for Change ~ Action Aid: Failing the Rural Poor
HMTMeanwhile the cost of food, heating & other essentials of life go up in price - The Government has accepted the recommendations of Pay Review Bodies for public sector pay awards for 2012-13.  

In line with the announcement made in the June Budget 2010, public sector workers covered by the Bodies earning a full time equivalent of £21,000 or less will receive a pay increase of £250. Those earning over £21,000 will have their pay frozen.  At the Spending Review 2010 the pay freeze was forecast to save £3.3bn a year by 2014-15.
Press release & links ~ Pay body being used as a ‘Trojan horse’ to introduce NHS regional pay, Unite warns ~ BBC item ~ Public Finance: Regional pay - the top ten myths ~ Scrutiny Unit: Public Sector Pay
BISHopefully fewer organisations will deliver more competition - A single Competition & Markets Authority, which will simplify & strengthen the competition landscape, was announced by Business Minister, Norman Lamb last week.  

The new independent body will bring together the Competition Commission (CC) and the competition functions of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to form the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
Press release & links
BISUpdate on item from last week - Lord Davies of Abersoch has published the first annual progress report on his review of Women on Boards.  Cranfield School of Management’s Female FTSE report, also published last week, notes that should current momentum be maintained, a record 26.7% female board representation in FTSE 100 companies would be achieved by 2015.
Press release ~ Lord Davies’s Review of Women on Boards ~ Cranfield Female FTSE100 report (2012) ~ Click HERE for previous week’s newsletter (12/03/2012)
EU NewsWhy don’t we just forward all complaints about national government cuts to MEPs & the Commission? - EU budget payments for 2013 must not be capped ‘artificially’, without any reference to real budgetary requirements, MEPs warned EU Member States in budget guidelines voted in last week.
If the Council continues to cut payments artificially during this year's budget procedure, "it should clearly and publicly identify and justify which of the EU's political priorities or projects it believes could be delayed or dropped altogether", say MEPs.
Press release

Video case study: -   Public Sector mobile apps meeting the expectation of citizens on the move - The phenomenal rate of growth of smartphone adoption shows no sign of easing. The growing number of 3rd party web sites and apps available to report government issues provides citizens with a choice they didn't even have a year or so ago - the ability to report issues using non-government procured systems. While on the one hand, this can seem to be a serious problem, it is clear that it provides citizens with choice, which provided it can be managed efficiently, is a good thing.

Public Sector organisations are becoming increasingly keen to explore how to best harness smartphone technology in order to better understand and respond to citizens’ needs and run their service operations more effectively. Lagan Mobile provides public organisations with an opportunity to brand, launch and control your own free mobile app for issue reporting. Find out how to:
  • Empower citizens to report and track issues, from abandoned vehicles, to fly tipping, to graffiti, while on the move.
  • Ensure the right people receive reports at the right time with intelligent routing, based on levels of authority and service delivery targets.
  • Improve citizen satisfaction and engagement whilst reducing the cost to serve.
Click here to view the 'Mobile Solutions for Public Sector' video presentation and to receive the latest case study on the 'Report It' app in action for North Ayrshire Council.

Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive
Mobile apps at work in the public service - click here for the latest video case study and demo.... image.
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