Probations London Eye Issue 1 by gabyion


									                                           Issue 21
                                     February - March 2008

 The London Probation Eye is an easily digestible bi-monthly newsletter
      of national and regional policy and resource developments
                   That may impact on offending and
                         services for offenders
                           as local citizens.

        It keeps a watchful eye on news from non-criminal justice
                        government departments

                Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
                  Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)
                       Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
                Department for Innovation, Universities and Schools (DIUS)
                               Department of Health (DH)
                                   Cabinet Office (CO)

           as well as the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office


               the world of the voluntary and community sector.

                  The Eye is produced by the Resource Development Unit.

                                        London Probation Eye
                                                   February - March 2008           Issue 21

                               New 'think family' approach and funding
                               January – Cabinet Office publishes                 identifies      the    adult   language
                               new report on socially excluded                    difficulties of a client and refers them
                               families.                                          to English for Speakers of Other
                               Analysis by the Social Exclusion Task              Languages (ESOL) training;
                               Force estimated there are around                  look at the whole family. Services
                               140,000 families who experience multiple           working with both adults and children
                               problems that restrict their life chances –        take        into      account      family
                               families at risk. This latest Cabinet Office       circumstances and responsibilities,
                               report      sets      out     the     policy       e.g. an alcohol treatment service
                               recommendations to bring about the                 combines treatment with parenting
                               changes needed to help the UK's most               classes while supervised childcare is
                               disadvantaged families. This is to ensure          provided for the children; and
                               adult services support whole families, not        provide support tailored to need -
• Think Family
                               just individuals.                                  tailored and family-centred packages
                                                                                  of support are offered to all families
                               The Think Family report, published by              at risk e.g. a Family Intervention
                               the Social Exclusion Task Force in the             Project works with a family to agree
                               Cabinet Office, launches a new approach            a package of support best suited to
                               to local services to improve support for           their situation;
                               the most disadvantaged families and            Family Pathfinders
                               prevent problems passing down from
                               vulnerable parents to their children.          The Cabinet Office also announced a
                                                                              £16m programme of local pilots, Family
• Mental Health                What is ‘Think Family’?
                                                                              Pathfinders, led by the Department for
  Treatment                    A 'think family' approach encourages           Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).
  Requirements                 local services to adopt the following basic    Local authorities and their partners are
                               principles, amongst others:                    invited to apply to become a Pathfinder.
                                no wrong door. Contact with any              These will run for 3 years from April 2008
Other                              service offers an open door into a         and embed the 'think family' approach
                                                                              throughout local areas - from high-level
Highlights:                        system of joined-up support e.g. a
                                   probation officer or housing officer       strategy to frontline delivery.

                                  Mental health treatment option underused
                                  January – Sainsbury Centre for Mental       The report found wide variations in the
  Blah               2            Health publish new research.                use of community orders. London
  extremism                                                                   probation region issued 201 MHTRs in
                                  People sentenced to community orders
                                  are not getting mental health treatment     2006 while Northamptonshire and North
  Blah               2            when they need it, according to research    Yorkshire each issued just two.
  health                          published by the Sainsbury Centre for       What are the barriers?
                                  Mental Health (SCMH).
                                                                              The report concludes that barriers to the
  Homes &            3            The Community Order and the Mental          use of the MHTR are likely to include
  Communities                                                                 difficulties assessing a person’s eligibility
                                  Health Treatment Requirement report
  Agency                                                                      for mental health treatment, a lack of
                                  found that less than 1% of people issued
                                  with a community order had a                access to mental health services for
                                  requirement for mental health treatment     offenders living in the community and the
  Court and debts    3
                                  in their sentence.                          need for an offender to consent publicly
                                                                              to treatment for highly stigmatised mental
                                  Of the 120,000 community orders issued      health problems.
  News In Brief      4
                                  nationally in 2006, only 725 included a
                                  mental health treatment requirement         SCMH has now started more detailed
                                  (MHTR). This compares with over 11,000      follow-up research to develop a better
  Facts At Your      4                                                        understanding of the issues and what
                                  for   drug     treatment,  75,000    for
  Fingertips                                                                  can be done to make better use of the
                                  supervision and more than 62,000 for
                                  unpaid work.                                MHTR by the courts.
       Page 2                   February – March 2008             London Probation’s Eye

                               Claimants - ‘Passive dependents to active job seekers’
                                December – Department of Work and
                                                                                New help to move from welfare to
                                Pensions announces reforms for
                                benefit claimants.
                                                                                Mr Hain also announced measures to
                                Peter Hain, the then Secretary of State for
                                                                                ease and encourage the transition from
                                Work and Pensions, announced a radical
                                                                                welfare to work and a new emphasis on
                                shift from passive to active benefits in the
                                                                                skills support.
                                welfare     system,    to    achieve     full
                                employment and help eradicate child
                                                                                These include:
                                poverty. The details are published in
                                Ready for work: full employment in our           a skills health check for all new
                                generation.                                        benefit claimants;
 “we will …extend,                                                               the national roll-out of the 'In Work
   modernise and                50 changes to benefits arrangements                Credit' from April 2008, which offers
   personalise the              In a major shake-up of the welfare state,          £40 a week (£60 in London) extra
                                Mr Hain confirmed that a raft of 50                support for lone parents;
support we offer to
                                changes to the current system of benefits        piloting a new 'better off in work
 people who often               and     job-seeking    support   will   be         credit' next year which tops up the
    face multiple               implemented over the next four years -             earnings of those who have been on
    challenges to               with the bulk of the measures taking effect        long-term benefits so that their
finding and keeping             from next year and 2009.                           weekly in-work income will be at
       a job..”                                                                    least £25 a week more than on
                                The core of the reforms will see hundreds          benefits; and
     Peter Hain,
                                of thousands of people on benefit moving         reforms of the '16-hour rule' so that
                                from being passive recipients of cash              short-term      Incapacity     Benefit
Secretary of State for          handouts to job seekers actively seeking           claimants can study for more than 16
 Work and Pensions              and preparing for work, at the heart of a          hours without losing Housing Benefit.
                                'something for something' welfare system.

                                  New faith consultation launched
                                December      –       Department of                 are already working with faith
                                Communities and Local Government                    communities;
 “Faith groups are              reaches out on faith.                              understand better the structures
                                                                                    which facilitate interaction and social
  a key part of the             Communities Secretary Hazel Blears and
 way we respond to              Cohesion Minister Parmjit Dhanda
                                                                                   learn about some of the barriers to
                                launched a new consultation at a recent
 the challenges we              event       attended     by      inter-faith        inter-faith activity - especially in
       face. ”                  organisations, a wide range of faith group          connection with the involvement of
                                leaders and chief executives of local               women and young people - and how
     Hazel Blears,              authorities.                                        to work together to overcome these.
 Secretary of State for                                                         Background to consultation
     Communities                The consultation Face-to-Face and Side-
                                by-Side wants to discover what is               The consultation is part of the
                                needed to widen and deepen inter-faith          Government's        response     to   the
                                dialogue and social action. In particular, it   independent Commission on Integration
                                seeks to:                                       and Cohesion's report Our Shared
                                 understand how to best build                  Future which set out a number of
                                    confidence in the benefits of               practical recommendations on how to
                                    partnership working and develop a           build cohesion and a shared sense of
                                    greater     understanding     of    the     belonging and the need for more
                                    contribution that faith communities         constructive     conversations    between
                                    can make;                                   those of faith and those of none.
                                 discover to what extent local
                                                                                The consultation ends on 7th March
                                    authorities and other public bodies

                   London Probation’s Eye                             February-March 2008
                                                                                                    Page 3

  New Homes & Communities Agency roles announced
January – New agency remit clarified            announced that the HCA will take on the
by Department of Communities and                provision of new affordable housing,
Local Government (DCLG)                         currently funded by social housing grant
                                                from the Housing Corporation.
The Homes and Communities Agency
                                                Other responsibilities
(HCA) will play a key role in delivering
the 3 million new homes by 2020                  The Agency will also take on
pledged by the Prime Minister.                  responsibility for:
                                                     Delivery of social sector decent
The new Agency is expected to start                    homes (including Arms Length
work in April 2009 and, for the first time,            Management          Organisations     “This important new
will bring together responsibility for land
and for money to deliver new housing,
                                                       (ALMOs), Large Scale Voluntary         agency will be able
                                                       Transfers (LSVT) and Housing
community       facilities   and       new             Private Finance Initiative (PFI));
                                                                                             to work closely with
infrastructure. The HCA will also work               mixed communities;                        local councils to
with local councils on some of England's
                                                     capital        investment         on      support them in
10 new eco towns.                                                                             their wide range of
                                                       homelessness,       hostels    and
Housing Corporation absorbed                           specialist supported housing;                housing,
The     HCA    will combine      English
                                                       and                                     regeneration and
Partnerships, the Housing Corporation
                                                     housing       and     regeneration       community work."
                                                       delivery     in    the     Thames
and delivery functions from the DCLG to
                                                       Gateway.                                         .”
bring together expertise, resources and                                                          Yvette Cooper,
powers to transform the way government                                                          Housing Minister
delivers   homes      and    regenerates        It will give local authorities a clear
communities.                                    strategic partner to work with on housing
                                                and regeneration delivery in their areas.
Housing     Minister     Yvette     Cooper

  New ways to help manage people's debts
January – Ministry of Justice issues            debts are given every           possible
consultation      on    Enforcement             opportunity to pay them off.
Restriction Order.
                                                "The new Enforcement Restriction
People faced with multiple low value            Order will give short-term help to people
debts could benefit from new court              who meet a sudden and unforeseen
measures set out in a consultation paper        change to their financial circumstances,
published by the Ministry of Justice.           from which they are soon likely to
Under the proposals, people who need            Consultation remit
extra time to pay off their debts could go
to court for a new Enforcement                  The document - Administration and             “It will help those
Restriction Order. If granted, this would       Enforcement Restriction Orders:              who genuinely can't
provide temporary relief from the debt          Setting the Parameters - consults on
                                                the detail needed to make both the           pay and are looking
being enforced and collected for a set
period of time. This will provide those         revised    Administration    and   new       for way to manage
with specified debts with some extra time       Enforcement       Restriction     Order           their debts
and provide a wider range of payment            Schemes work effectively. This enlarges          effectively.”
options.                                        upon provisions made in the Tribunal
                                                Courts and Enforcement Act 2007,
                                                                                              Bridget Prentice,
It will be particularly aimed at people with    which introduced better ways of helping
                                                people manage their debts.                   Civil Justice Minister
several different low value debts, and
who have had a sudden change in their
financial circumstances. Civil Justice          The paper also includes consultation on
minister Bridget Prentice said: "Debt's a       the debts that should be included in
problem that can affect anyone at any           Schemes and those that should be left
time - unexpected costs can hit even the        out such as fines, sums due under
most diligent and careful person. We            orders made in family courts and
want to ensure that people who run up           Government student loans.

            e0de2bec-60c0-4c23-9e92-34a135765331.doc         Schools and Families,
     Page 5 of 5
             London Probation’s Eye                                                     Type
                                                                       February-March 2008                 Page
                                                                                                        the Title4here

                                                                NEWS IN BRIEF
                             Ministry of Justice recognition of local             Shared agenda          on    health    and
                             government performance framework                     offenders
                             A new pamphlet jointly issued by the                 Published in November, Improving
                             Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Department             health,     supporting     justice:    a
                             for Communities and Local Government                 consultation asks how health and
                             (DCLG) recognises the importance of the              social care services can be improved for
                             new local government performance                     people subject to the criminal justice
                             framework and its alignment with the                 system in England.
                             separate     performance       management
                             systems for criminal justice agencies.               This is a joint initiative between the
                                                                                  Department of Health, Department of
                             As the new performance framework is                  Children, Schools and Families, Ministry
                             focused on outcomes and their delivery               of Justice, Youth Justice Board and the
    Headquarters                                                                  Home Office. Between them, these
                             through stronger partnership working, the
  London Probation
                             same indicators will be used for different           government departments and agencies
    020 7222 5656
                             local partners as relevant. Therefore,               have responsibility for health, social
                             many of the indicators in the national               care and all the component services
                             indicator set will also apply to the police,         within the criminal justice system.
                             primary care trusts and other local bodies
                             like probation.                                      Although     there    is no    current
                                                                                  commitment of new money for any
                             The publication provides a useful overview           changes,     the   drive to   improve
                             for crime reduction partners and Probation           collaborative working and services for
                             Boards to help ensure that they are aware            offenders’ health and reduce re-
 London Probation            of this external agenda.                             offending is very welcome and long
Our aim is to reduce                                                              overdue.
re-offending and to
protect the public.                                        Facts @ your fingertips
                                Whilst not a full outcome evaluation,         groups and the national average for
                                 a comparison of offending levels              GCSE results is closing.
                                 before and after contact with DIP              Black pupils have made the biggest
                                 (Drug Intervention Programme) found              improvement in GCSE results for
                                 that offending levels in the six months          2007.
                                 following DIP were lower than in the           49.1% of Black Caribbean pupils
                                 six months before DIP;                            achieved 5+ A-C* compared to
                                the overall volume of offending by a              32.9% in 2003. This rise of 16.2% is
                                 cohort of 7,727 individuals was 26%               almost double the national increase
                                 lower following DIP identification;               of 8.6% over the same period;
                                around 50% of drug misusers who                Black African pupils have also
                                 come into contact with DIP through                being making steady progress with
                                 the custody suite showed a decline in             55.6% achieving five good GCSEs
                                 offending of around 79% in the six                compared to 40.7% in 2003;
                                 months following DIP contact;                  Bangladeshi pupils performance is
                                offending levels increased following              up 1.8% to 58.4%;
                                 DIP contact for around 25% of positive         Pakistani pupils achievements
                                 testers.                                          increased 1.6% to 53%
                            The Drug Interventions Programme                    White pupils improved 2% to
                            (DIP):addressing   drug     use and                    achieve 59.5%
                            offending through ‘Tough Choices’                  From Statistical First Release National
                            Home Office (December 2007)                        Curriculum Assessment, GCSE and
                                                                               equivalent attainment… by pupil
                                                   *                           characteristics in England, 2006/07
                            The long and short term trend shows that           DCSF (November 2007)
                            the gap between minority and ethnic

   This newsletter was produced by Fil Stocker, of London Probation Resource Development Unit (RDU). If you would like further
   details about The Eye, would like to make any suggestions for articles or a copy of any of the reports referenced in this
   newsletter please contact Fil. Ring  07860 487735 or email


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