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Barnardo's: Employers must back parental leave law

A charity has said employers must throw their weight behind a new law which allows fathers of new babies to share parental leave with their partners - or it could quickly "run into the sand".

Barnardo's: Employers must back parental leave law. Credit: PA

Parents of babies born from tomorrow can now split up to 52 weeks of shared parental leave between them as well as up to 39 weeks of statutory shared parental pay, Barnardo's said.


New plans to improve youth mental health care

The Government have unveiled their places to improves mental health support for young people.

A host of new measures are planed, including:

  • An anti-stigma campaign to improve awareness of youth mental health issues.
  • Young people to have access to timely support in every part of the country. Applying similar waiting times to mental as clinical health.
  • A one-stop-shop service to give children access to the right support.
  • Extra training for those who work with children, including GPs.
  • Support to continue past teenage years into the early 20s.
  • Improving access for children and young people who are particularly vulnerable.
  • Improved access to support using apps and other online tools.

Child rape attacks up 37% police data shows

The total number of adult and child rapes has increased over the last five years, data released by police has shown. Recorded adult attacks rose 38% from 9,383 in 2009/10, while child rape was up 37% from 5,674.

These figures are extremely disturbing and a shocking indictment of the widening justice gap created by this Government.

Over the last four years, there has been a dire trend in recorded incidents of rape going up, but prosecutions and convictions going down. This report is the latest evidence of this appalling state of affairs.

Rape and the sexual abuse of a child - are some of the most abhorrent and heinous crimes. And victims deserve justice.

– Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "T

HMIC pubished the data on behalf of the Rape Monitoring Group (RMG), which has provided a regional breakdown of rape statistics for all forces excluding the City of London Police.

Police: Less than 1 in 3 recorded child rapes end in charge

Police: Less than 1 in 3 recorded child rapes end in charge. Credit: PA

Data released by police has revealed that fewer than one in three recorded child rapes results in a charge or summons. A total of 7,775 child rapes were recorded in 2013/14, of which 2,306 or 30% led to a charge or summons, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said.

Out of 12,952 adult rapes recorded in the same period, 2,186 or 20% led to charge or summons. The total number of adult and child rapes has also increased over the last five years.


MPs: Children's social services under 'intense pressure'

The Commons public accounts committee has said in its second annual social care report that children's social services are still under "intense pressure" amid increasing numbers of young people in need of help, stretched budgets and intense public scrutiny.

Although the [Department for Education] is clearly best placed to provide the leadership required in many cases, it shows an alarming reluctance to play an active role in securing better services and outcomes for children in care.

– Commons public accounts committee report

The PAC study says that the DfE is the government department with policy responsibility for children in care, and oversees local councils, who provide services for these youngsters.

A Department for Education spokesman said: "This report purposefully ignores the very real progress government has made in transforming the life chances of children in care."

Government accused of failing vulnerable youngsters

The Government has been accused of failing to take action to help the nation's most vulnerable youngsters. There has been an "alarming reluctance" by the Department for Education (DfE) to play an active role in securing better services and results for children in care, according to the Commons public accounts committee.

Govt accused of failing to help vulnerable youngsters. Credit: PA

In a new report, the cross-party group of MPs suggested that the department does "far too little" to support councils before they are declared inadequate by Ofsted, instead leaving them to "fester".

The findings come the day after Ofsted warned that many local authorities are struggling to offer a good standard of care and protection for their most at-risk children.

Teen pregnancy rates lowest since records began

UK teen pregnancy lowest since records began Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Rates of conception for under-18s in England and Wales are at their lowest since records began in 1969, new official figures show.

Pregnancy rates for women aged between 15 and 17 were 24.5 conceptions per thousand, according to a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

  • The figures show a 13% drop in the estimated number of conceptions for women under 18 in 2013, down to 24,306 in 2013 compared with 27,834 in 2012.
  • For the under-16s, there was also a 14% drop in the number of conceptions - an estimate of 4,648 in 2013, compared with 5,432 in 2012.
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