These reports set out a chronic and larger problem within society affecting us all: The damaging and widely held views about women and sex.
One in five adults claims to still have their cherished cuddly toys from childhood.
All children under five in England could soon be given free vitamins, to combat rising cases of rickets.
Jim Clifford, chairman of It's All About Me (IAAM) adoption and head of not-for-profit advisory at Baker Tilly, is himself adopted and has adopted nine children with his wife. He said:
Adopting older children is not always easy, as many carry with them the legacy of neglect and trauma in their early years.
However, with the right training and support, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both the parent and the child, and I would encourage anyone with an interest to find out more.
We have had a fantastic response to the IAAM scheme from local authorities so far, many of whom recognise the benefit of working closely with the voluntary adoption sector.
Would-be adoptive parents are to be given more help in looking after children who are considered harder to place with families because of their age or circumstances.
Leading voluntary adoption agencies are spearheading a scheme that will give two years of support to those choosing to adopt children in care who are sometimes overlooked.
They hope the new service, called It's All About Me (IAAM), will encourage more people to adopt those children.
It will include training in therapeutic parenting offered to families, with 24-hour assistance available in the first two years to reduce the risk of the placement failing.
The scheme has been developed by the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA) and professional services firm Baker Tilly, with 18 voluntary adoption agencies helping them to set it up.
A spokesman for Birmingham City Council, which was singled out for criticism in Ofsted's report on child protection, has acknowledged that there is a long-standing problem:
– birmingham city council spokesman
We are already on record as saying that we have failed to meet the basic expectation of keeping vulnerable children in this city safe.
This is a long-standing problem which we acknowledge and the leader has said that improving children's services is his number one priority.
While we can only agree with the seriousness of what Sir Michael [Wilshaw] has said with regard to children's services - indeed we have said it ourselves - we now need improvement rather than further diagnosis lacking any offer of solutions.
The Chief Inspector at Ofsted has highlighted Birmingham as one of the worst councils for child protection.
Sir Michael Wilshaw said: "We've allowed failure to go and on and on in Birmingham for far too long.
"The stats are there to see, it points to endemic failure. This isn't good enough and children are at risk, now is the time for central government to do something about it and see if local government is working. If it's not working then I'm calling on central government to break Birmingham up."
Scott King, 24, who was taken into care at six-months old and moved between foster homes 26 times, said there was "very little stability and consistency in care".
– Helga Pile, UNISON National Officer for Social Workers
How many children need to suffer and how many reports highlighting the dangers inherent in child protection services do we need before the Government takes action?
UNISON has warned time and again that staff freezes, unmanageable case loads and a massive increase in referrals are a toxic combination and vulnerable children are suffering as a result.
This Government is cutting budgets so hard that councils are faced with impossible choices of where the axe should fall.
An Ofsted report said inspectors found that a persistent absence of stable leadership was a feature of most ‘inadequate’ local authorities. It said that in the weakest places:
- The most basic acceptable practice was not in place
- Supervision, management oversight, purposeful work with families and decisive action where children were at risk from harm were ineffective
- The views of children and families were rarely considered
- Support from key statutory partners – health, police, schools – was weak and poorly co-ordinated
- Managers did not appear to have a firm understanding of what constituted good practice
Ofsted, which inspects children's social care including child protective services, said more needs to be done to address "incompetent and ineffective" leadership in children's services.
Some managers do not have a "firm understanding" of what constitutes good practice, the watchdog said.
In its first stand-alone social care annual report, Ofsted said that children's services need "strong and stable leadership" to improve the services that provide help, care and protection to children at risk of abuse or neglect.
Inspectors found that in the weakest places many "basic acceptable practices" were not in place and some authorities were criticised for poor coordination with health workers, police and schools.