14-21 SEPTEMBER 16
Children’s aid overhaul would raise top age to 18
Sandro Contenta and Jim Rankin. The Star. 20 Sep 2016.
[Canada] The Ontario government plans to raise the top age of child protection in the province from 16 to 18, exert greater control over children’s aid societies and set minimum care standards for group homes, according to a blueprint for sweeping child welfare reform. The proposed changes come after several reports sharply criticized the Ministry of Children and Youth Services for failing to ensure that vulnerable children get high-quality care when they are removed from families that neglect or abuse them.
The reform proposals are contained in a ministry PowerPoint called “Next Steps in Child Welfare and Residential Services,” distributed to executive directors of children’s aid societies. They would give youths a voice in the child protection system through the establishment of a “youth panel,” and place a greater focus on supporting families so that kids don’t need to be removed. The ministry document describes a system where “children, youth and their families have access to a system of services and supports that is integrated, quality-focused and accountable.”
Over $24 Million Tagged For Disability Employment
Shaun Heasley. Disability Scoop. 20 Sep 2016.
[U.S.A.] The U.S. Department of Labor is sending millions of dollars to states and organizations, all earmarked to improve the employment odds facing people with disabilities. The federal agency said this month, that nearly $15 million will go to 6 states to improve job opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities.
Funding will be targeted to enhance job training for this demographic, help young people transition into the workforce and develop strategies to assist individuals with significant disabilities find work, among other efforts, the Labor Department said. Meanwhile, over $9 million is headed to 5 groups working to develop new models, offer technical assistance and establish best practices for increasing employment among this population. The state funding is part of the Labor Department’s Disability Employment Initiative, which has allocated over $123 million for projects in 28 states since 2010.
Plans for £40k disabled swimming facilities
News & Star. 18 Sep 2016.
[U.K.] A new £40,000 disabled changing area planned for a west Cumbrian swimming pool has taken another step forward. Copeland Swimming Pool, on Cleator Moor Road, is currently lacking a dedicated changing facility for disabled users. However, plans for the new area have been submitted this week and, if it is given the go-ahead, it is set to be available before the end of the year.
The area will include a changing bench, wash basin, toilet and shower and has been designed by the building's owners Copeland Council and operators North Country Leisure, in conjunction with current disabled users and Copeland Disability Forum (CDF). The scheme will see a redundant first aid room extended and converted into the changing area, and at least one extra disabled parking bay will also be created. Anne Bradshaw, chair of CDF said, "It allows people with more severe disabilities to use the pool and get change in comfort and safely. It also increases their dignity, social inclusion and well-being, so I know it will be a wonderful addition to the pool."
Care cuts 'leave frail elderly fending for themselves'
Nick Triggle. BBC. 15 Sep 2016.
[U.K.] Frail old people in England are being left to fend for themselves because government-funded care is being scaled back, a review suggests. The number of over-65s being helped by councils had fallen by a quarter in the four years to 2014, the joint King's Fund and Nuffield Trust report said. This was despite more people needing help, because of the ageing population. Ministers said they were taking measures to address the problems. But the report goes on to highlight the growing numbers left with no care or having to pay for support themselves.
FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS
Emergency motel rooms for women fleeing domestic violence more than doubles
Kym Agius and Casey Briggs. ABC News. 19 Sep 2016.
[Australia] There has been a major spike in the number of women and children seeking emergency shelter due to domestic violence (DV), according to the Queensland Government. Peak organisation DV Connect provided 9,000 nights of motel accommodation this past financial year, State Government figures have shown. That is an increase from 3,624 nights provided in 2014-15 and 2,318 nights provided in 2013-14. DV Connect, which is receiving $1 million in state funding this financial year, received up to 150 calls a day in the past. That has increased to 250 calls.
About 900 women and children have been taken in by the Government's 72-hour domestic and family violence shelters in Brisbane and Townsville, which were opened late last year. They were the first government-funded shelters in 20 years in Queensland, with more due to open in Charters Towers and Roma. Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said more women were also reporting offences and breaches of domestic violence orders.
Record-high 9.5% of civil servant fathers take child care leave
Jiji. The Japan Times. 14 Sep 2016.
[Japan] More fathers are taking child care leave, with men now accounting for 9.5% of the total. That’s according to figures for civil servants and employees of independent government-affiliated agencies in fiscal 2015. The proportion was the highest since the leave system was introduced in 1992. It was up 4 percentage points from the year before, the National Personnel Authority said.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the results show a change for the better. “Changes are seen in the awareness of civil servants, who should set an example worth following, and in attitudes at the workplace,” Suga told a news conference Wednesday. “This is extremely big progress.” He said the government wants to spur greater take-up, including by issuing awards to firms that support fathers and by encouraging greater support for a work-life balance. Under the current rule, full-time state government workers are allowed to take child care leave until their children turn 3 years old. The independent agencies, quasi-government bodies, follow suit.
European Teens Gambling Online at Alarming Rate, New Study Concludes
Katie Barlowe. Casino.org. 20 Sep 2016.
[Europe] European teens have found a new vice, and it comes in the form of online gambling. According to a new study published by the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), teens in Europe are smoking and drinking alcohol at lower rates, but online gambling frequency is on the rise. ESPAD conducts and releases its research every four years, and new for 2015’s investigation was the realization that internet gambling platforms have successfully targeted Europe’s youth. A total of 96,043 school students between the ages of 15 and 16 were polled across 35 countries in Europe. “Measures to prevent adolescents from developing problems associated with gambling, such as debts, psychological deficits and social disadvantages, are of ‘high priority,'” the ESPAD concluded.
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