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Substance misuse and binge drinking 'higher in young people in foster care'

Credit: DPA DEUTSCHE PRESS-AGENTUR/DPA/PA Images

A Cardiff University study of secondary school students (11-16 years) in Wales looked at the issues affecting youngsters and their relationship with caregivers, teachers and friends.

Those in foster care reported almost 8 times the rates of weekly smoking compared to young people living with both parents, and almost 4 times higher than among those living with a single mother.

Young people living in foster care experience significantly worse outcomes than young people not in care, likely due to a range of care and pre-care factors, which can impact adversely on the formation of positive and healthy social relationships.

Our research highlights a real need for the development and evaluation of interventions to improve wellbeing, and reduce substance use among young people in foster care by supporting looked after young people in the development of healthy interpersonal relationships.

– Dr Sara Long, Cardiff University

Go ahead for £50m Centre for Student Life

Artist's impressions of the new centre. Credit: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Cardiff Council has granted planning permission for Cardiff University to begin construction on a £50m building at its Cathays Campus.

The Centre for Student Life is said to be part of the biggest campus upgrade in a generation.

The University says the new building will create a central hub for student support services as well as offering social learning spaces and a 550-seat lecture theatre.

This is a major investment in our students and their learning experience. Our students expect world-leading facilities and the Centre for Student Life will meet those high expectations. Our students and staff are not the only beneficiaries because this will be a landmark building for the people and city of Cardiff.

– Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor

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Low birth weight 'linked to higher death rates'

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Researchers at Cardiff University say babies born with a low birth weight are at an increased risk of death in infancy through to adolescence compared to babies born at a normal birth weight.

A team from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, led by Professor Sailesh Kotecha, examined official death rates in low birth weight babies among over 12m births in England and Wales.

The study reaffirms the need to tackle important factors such as maternal smoking and deprivation which are well known to contribute to low birth weight.

By better understanding and ameliorating influences that lead to low birth weight, deaths in infancy and beyond could be cut.

– Professor Sailesh Kotecha, Cardiff University

Cardiff's violence reduction scheme is exported

Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

A pioneering scheme developed in Cardiff to reduce violence from alcohol is to be rolled out in Australia.

The so-called Cardiff model uses data from hospital emergency departments to identify and target violence ‘hotspots’, significantly reducing cases of violence.

Now its being trialled in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.

Details from hospitals such as the precise violence location, time, days and weapons will be shared with police, helping them to build a monthly ‘hotspot map’ of the nature, timing and characteristics of violence showing where their presence is most needed.

– Professor Jonathan Shepherd, Cardiff University

"Substantial" reduction in serious violence across Wales and England

Researchers from Cardiff University have found a "substantial" reduction in serious violence across Wales and England.

They found a reduction in the number of people having to go to hospital over the last five years.

There's been a reduction in the numbers going to hospital Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Our study is very encouraging in demonstrating a consistent and substantial decline in violence in England and Wales, including among children.

There is increasing evidence to suggest that this decline can be attributed in part to public health interventions and improved information-sharing between health services, police and local government.

– Professor Jonathan Shepherd, Director of the Violence Research Group at Cardiff University

Researchers also think a decline in alcohol consumption has helped the situation, but do add there are areas of concern with young men between 18 - 30 still the most likely to be injured in violence.

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