HC Education Committee: Mental health and well-being of looked after children: this report finds that a significant number of local authorities and health services are failing to identify mental health issues when children enter care and that looked after children face significant challenges in getting access to mental health support. The report finds that child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are turning away vulnerable young people in care because they have not met high thresholds for treatment or because the children are without a stable placement. This is contrary to the 2015 statutory guidance which states that looked after children should never be refused a service on the grounds of their placement. To help tackle this inflexibility, the report recommends that looked after children be given priority access to mental health assessments by specialist practitioners, with subsequent treatment based on clinical need. (28 April 2016)

DfE: Childcare workers – Changes to disqualification arrangements: seeks views on proposals to make changes to the childcare disqualification arrangements in England. The paper sets out three separate options for changing the arrangements in schools and non-domestic registered settings. The aim is to improve the fairness of the current arrangements, particularly in respect of the ‘by association’ elements, which mean that a childcare worker can be disqualified because someone who lives or works in their household is disqualified. The closing date for comments is 1 July 2016. (6 May 2016)

LGA: Westminster Hall debate on unaccompanied children: this parliamentary briefing calls for a fully funded, national mechanism for the relocation of unaccompanied children across the country, to ensure that children are able to live in areas with sufficient capacity to provide the care and support that they need. It highlights the challenges faced by councils caring for unaccompanied minors which include not only financial pressures but also the availability of foster placements, access to therapeutic support, legal advice and translation services, and pressure on health, education and housing services. (18 April 2016)