Education charity School-Home Support (SHS) has released its annual Impact Report, showing that the number of actions taken regarding children at risk from harm has risen dramatically. In 2016/17, the number of safeguarding interventions the charity’s practitioners had to make had more than tripled over the past six years*.

School Home Support

Safeguarding actions

SHS’s practitioners – who supported over 10,500 children and families across London and the South last year – work closely with designated safeguarding leads, Children’s Services and other agencies to ensure children and young people feel safe and protected at all times. The rise in number of incidents undertaken by SHS mirrors the national trend. The report ‘How safe are our children? The most comprehensive overview of child protection in the UK 2017’ (NSPCC), shows an increase over the last decade of numbers of children on child protection plans, public reporting of child abuse, and child cruelty and neglect offences.

Reasons for the increase

– safeguarding risks arising as a result of poverty and unsuitable housing: instances of these have risen, particularly in London where SHS carries out the majority of their work.
– tighter council budgets meaning schools have had to take on more responsibility for delivering safeguarding interventions. SHS Practitioners based in schools are therefore picking up this work.

22% of these safeguarding interventions were centered around supporting families affected by domestic violence. 10% of our safeguarding interventions concerned neglect and 9% were to do with physical abuse.

Commentary from education charity

Jaine Stannard, Chief Executive at education charity  SHS, said, “This is a staggering rise and shows that our support is needed in schools more than ever. Educational settings need dedicated staff, trained in safeguarding work and properly supervised, to ensure that no child falls through the cracks. Budgets allocated to schools must reflect this.”

Daniel Jarrett, Safeguarding Manager, said, “In my time at SHS, and previously as a social worker, I have seen how easy it is for a family’s challenging situation to become a safeguarding risk – and how important it is that there’s someone looking out for the children in these families. These figures show how vital safeguarding support is.”

ABOUT SCHOOL-HOME SUPPORT

Educaton charity, School-Home Support (SHS) have been working with disadvantaged children and families to maximise educational opportunities since 1984. They currently have 60+ practitioners based in educational settings around the South of England, and offer a free support service for all schools.

Do you need to cater for gluten-free eaters this Christmas? Here’s an easy gluten-free Christmas cake recipe.

A great Christmas cake is rich, moist, and full of festive flavours, and this version definitely hits the spot. In fact, it just might become a new family favourite!

Gluten-free Christmas Cake Recipe

Preparation time

5 minutes the night before, 30 minutes on the day

Cooking time:

2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 200g raisins
  • 200g currants
  • 200g stoned prunes, chopped
  • 200g mixed peel
  • 200g dried cranberries
  • 40g candied fruit
  • 140g glace cherries
  • 125ml dark rum
  • 125ml port
  • 250g unsalted butter + some extra to grease the tin
  • 250 g gluten-free plain flour + some extra
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg (or grate it fresh)
  • 300g dark brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs

 

Icing:

  • 700g icing sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

 

Method
  1. Combine the chopped prunes in a large bowl with all the other dried fruit and berries. Pour half the rum and half the port over and leave to soak overnight.
  2. When you come to make the cake, preheat the oven to 150°C/300ºF/gas 2.
  3. For the cake, sift the gluten free flour, allspice and nutmeg into a large bowl.
  4. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Crack the eggs in one at a time and beat. Stir in the soaked fruit and any excess juices.
  5. Stir in the flour mixture until everything is combined evenly.
  6. Grease a 26m spring form cake tin with butter, sprinkle some flour around the inside of the tin, then tip out excess flour. Spoon the cake mixture in.
  7. Bake for around 2 hours at 150˚C until golden brown. Remove from oven and poke holes through the top with a skewer.
  8. Combine the remaining port and rum together and pour over the cake while it’s still warm. Leave to cool.
  9. Prepare the icing by separating the egg whites and whisking them in a large bowl until frothy. Sift the icing sugar into another bowl then add the egg whites a spoonful at a time, mixing as you go. Stir in the lemon juice and beat the mixture until it forms stiff peaks.
  10. Place the cooled cake on a plate and decorate with the icing. For a smooth finish, use a palette knife to spread it over the top and sides. For peaks, use the knife to create texture. Leave the icing to harden before adding extra decorations or a ribbon.
  11. Serve it to your gluten-free guests or package it up as a gift. Enjoy!

Check out some more healthy Christmas recipes and ideas for treats.

Let me know if you try out this gluten-free Christmas cake recipe?

Easy Gluten-Free Christmas Cake Recipe

 

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This Mama

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div align=”center”>My Random Musings

Cuddle Fairy

Help for those on a low income is available and there is always hope if you are having financial difficulties. However, systems can be challenging to navigate especially when you are already feeling stressed about your financial plight.

I thought I would list things that are well worth investigating when the wolf is at the door and you are feeling stressed.

Help with rent

Rents can be very high and housing costs are often the biggest expenditure item for individuals and families. If you are renting whether on benefits or working, check if you are entitled to Housing Benefit to cover all or part of your rental costs. The roll-out of Universal Credit will see housing costs covered in a different way so check out information on that too.
.

Help with council tax

Council tax can be another big strain on finances. Depending on where you live Council Tax Reduction may be available giving a discount depending on your individual circumstances.

Free prescriptions

There are quite a number of circumstances that make you eligible for free prescriptions and help with other health costs. The basic message is if you have health costs, it is always worth finding out if you can get some help towards them.

Free school meals

All pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 in state-funded schools are eligible for free school meals. If you are on certain welfare benefits, you may also be able to obtain free school meals for your children.

Social Fund and grants

If you are on certain benefits, you may be able to get help towards expenditure such as clothing or a washing machine via a budgeting loan. This is interest free so you only pay back what you borrow normally within a 2 year period.

You would be amazed how many organisations offer grants to those in need. The Turn2Us website helps you search for the ones that apply to your particular situation.

Food banks

There are lots of food banks so check online to find one near where you live. You can go to some without a referral but sometimes you need to be sent by someone like a GP, charity, advice agency or social worker.

When money is tight it is vital to view your options and to seek good advice from someone like the Citizens Advice Bureau Service.

Do you know of any good help for those on a low income?

Cuddle Fairy
Pink Pear Bear
ethannevelyn.com

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

#ablogginggoodtime

Twin Mummy and Daddy
The Pramshed
Mum Muddling Through

5 things you should know about the morning after pill

Your sexual health is important, so it’s vital that you’re in the know when it comes to the morning after pill. This type of emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy if you have unprotected sex. Regardless of whether you think you’ve got it all figured out or not, here are five things you should know about the morning after pill.

1. It’s easy to access

The morning after pill can be accessed from a variety of different places, including your GP, pharmacies and sexual health clinics. You can even purchase the morning after pill from Online Doctor LloydsPharmacy and other reputable websites online. This is especially useful if you’d rather not discuss this subject with someone face-to-face. If you choose to obtain emergency contraception on the internet, you will be required to complete an online consultation first to make sure it’s suitable.

2. There are two types available

Levonelle and ellaOne are the two types of the morning after pill available. Both work to prevent pregnancy by stopping or delaying ovulation, but they are different in some ways. For instance, Levonelle contains levonorgestrel – an artificial version of the natural hormone progesterone which affects your ability to ovulate. On the other hand, ellaOne contains ulipristal acetate. This is designed to stop progesterone from working as it would normally to prevent pregnancy by affecting ovulation.

3. It’s more effective the sooner it is taken

Although it’s name suggests differently, the morning after pill can be effective if taken a number of days after sex. Levonelle can work for up to three days after sex, while ellaOne can be effective for up to five days. However, it’s important to remember that the sooner the morning after pill is taken, the more effective it will be at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex.

4. It will not affect your long-term fertility

While this type of emergency contraception is designed to have a temporary effect on your ability to fall pregnant, there is no evidence to suggest that using it can lead to long-term fertility problems. However, it’s important to note that the morning after pill is not intended for continuous use and it should not be used in place of another method of contraception, such as the combined pill.

5. You may experience some side effects

There are some side effects associated with the morning after pill, including headaches, stomach pain, nausea, feeling tired and heavy or irregular bleeding prior to your next period. You may also experience breast tenderness, dizziness and vomiting. If you are sick, it’s likely you will need to take another dose, especially if it’s been less than two hours since you took Levonelle or less than three hours for ellaOne.

For more information about the morning after pill, you can carry out your own research online or speak to a medical professional.

 

 

Tammymum
Pink Pear Bear

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