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A new hotline for reporting the sexual exploitation of children has been launched by Barnardo’s Scotland and Crimestoppers.The Nightwatch Hotline will enable people to anonymously pass on information to the charities and police if they suspect a child is being sexually abused – especially for people working in Scotland’s night-time…
A teenager will go on trial next year charged with the rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail on the Scottish island of Bute.The 16-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is accused of abducting, raping and murdering Alesha.She was at the start of a three-week break visiting family…
Council social services bosses have apologised after a High Court judge criticised their handling of two cases involving children.Mr Justice Keehan complained of "incompetence and serial failings" by staff at Herefordshire Council in the handling of a case involving twins.Lawyers representing each twin had alleged breaches of the human right…
The number of children needing treatment for addiction to tranquilisers has almost doubled, figures show.In 2016, 161 children under the age of 18 accessed public treatment services for benzodiazepine misuse.This almost doubled to 315 young people requiring help last year.The figures, released by Public Health England (PHE), show the number…
The breakdown of traditional family units, with fewer grandparents, aunts and uncles around for children to talk to about their problems, is behind a surge in mental health issues among young people, Dame Esther Rantzen said.Dame Esther, founder and president of Childline, said the decrease in extended family units, where…
There has been a surge of young people in Northern Ireland seeking help for dealing with anxiety, a helpline has said.The revelation comes in Childline's annual review, The Courage To Talk, which highlights the work done by the NSPCC-supported service.In 2017/18 at Childline's two bases in Northern Ireland, Belfast and…
A social worker appointed to represent the interests of two children at the centre of complex family court litigation has come under fire from a senior judge.Kailash Chudasama had acted as the children's "guardian" and been appointed by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) - whose…
A project to recruit more nursery staff from ethnic minorities has been launched by the Scottish Government.The £140,000 scheme aims to increase the diversity of the early learning and childcare (ELC) workforce while attempting to recruit enough staff to deliver the near-doubling of free childcare.It has been estimated up to…
The UK's housing crisis will be "felt across a generation" as the latest figures reveal the scale of children living in homelessness, a charity has warned.Shelter urged the public to support its Christmas appeal which aims to provide families with "the vital helpline advice and services they need in order…
Care for autistic children is "not good enough", ministers have said, as they launched a review into the Government's autism strategy.Care Minister Caroline Dinenage (pictured) said that many autistic children are "falling through the cracks".The Government's autism strategy was last revised in 2015 and only covers adults in England.Ministers have…
A total of 221 young Scots have been waiting more than a year for specialist help with mental health problems, new figures have shown.NHS statistics also disclosed there were 197 cases where children with such conditions were treated on adult wards in 2017-18.In 255 cases, patients were admitted to specialist…
Two fifths of health visitors fear that they are "so stretched" that avoidable tragedies involving children could occur, a new poll suggests.A new poll of 1,200 health visitors in England found that 43% were concerned tragedies could occur because a vulnerable child would not be identified until it was too…
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