Children’s mental health services face postcode lottery, warns new report

Children in need of ‘low-level’ mental health services – vital preventative and early intervention services for problems such as anxiety, depression or eating disorders are facing a postcode lottery. So found an investigation by the Children’s Commissioner for England.

Scotland: avoidable child death rate overtakes rest of the UK

The number of avoidable deaths among children and young people are higher in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Wales: adverse childhood experience pilot shows promise

Health visitors in Anglesey have been asking new mothers about their adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as part of a radical new parenting initiative.

Big story: credit crunch

Universal Credit – the new system which rolls six other benefits into a single monthly payment – has been controversial from the outset. What impact is it having on families, and what do community practitioners need to be aware of? Journalist Juliette Astrup reports.

News in numbers: February

A breakdown of community health news this month, in numbers. Download the PDF, here.

Northern Ireland: reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, says PHA

The Public Health Agency (PHA) is calling for greater awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) after a new survey found many adults didn’t know about the risk factors.

Scotland: NHS staff become ‘corporate parents’ to vulnerable young

A new ‘corporate parenting’ training resource has been launched for NHS workers to help them understand their duty to promote the interests of young people who are or have been in care.

SUDI: the bitterest loss

The number of unexpected and unexplained infant deaths has plummeted since the 1990s, but making further reductions now requires more intense and targeted work, writes journalist John Windell.

Spotlight on sight loss

Low vision or blindness can significantly affect a child’s learning progress and mental health. Journalist Anna Scott takes a closer look at how community practitioners can help families live with visual impairment.

Bringing period policy up to date

Working women are expected to cope unsupported with period problems. Journalist Juliette Astrup looks at ending the stigma of periods at work and asks if taking time off could be the answer.

Scotland: students offered free sanitary products to end ‘period poverty’

The Scottish Government has announced a £5.2m plan to help banish ‘period poverty’ by offering free sanitary products to all students.

Great Britain: children attracted to those of same gender are twice as likely to self-harm

Almost a quarter (22%) of girls aged 14 have self-harmed in the past year, according to a new report by The Children’s Society.

Wales: ‘whole school’ plan to reform mental health support

The Welsh Government has embarked on a ‘whole school’ approach in the reform of mental health support for young people.

Canada: cleaning products could affect infant gut and raise BMI

Antibacterial cleaning products could be altering children’s gut flora – making them more likely to be overweight, a study says.

USA: autism biomarkers show up in blood test

Biomarkers can be detected in some children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which may lead to earlier diagnosis and even targeted dietary therapy.

Health visitor feedback on a structured, behavioural training for working with families of children with behaviour problems

Margiad Williams and Judy Hutchings questioned HVs who delivered a skills programme for parents to effectively address behavioural problems. 

Wales: smacking ban splits public down the middle

Public opinion is divided on proposals for a smacking ban.

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