News – September 2015

A stack of newspapersHealthy Living Mentors
A Youth Health Movement has been formed with the aim of giving young people the tools to act as peer mentors in healthy living. Participation is through a selection of schools, alternatively through a number of centres offering qualifications in the field. (Public Health England and others).

Improving maternal and child nutrition
New NICE guidance: QS98. A general guide from pre-pregnancy to the pre-school stage.

Healthy Child Programme
From September 2015, parents of two year olds in England attending an early years setting should receive an integrated review of their child’s health and developmental progress, bringing together Healthy Child Programme reviews at age 2-2.5 and the Early Years Progress Check. This includes a tool called ASQ-3 which involves a questionnaire for parents. More details from Dept of Health.

Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing
The first version of “Local Transformation Plans for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing: Guidance and support for local areas” has been published for England, designed to work ultimately with the local authority’s “local offer” in each area, http://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/local-transformation-plans-cyp-mh-guidance.pdf (NHS England). In Wales, a more informal look at access to neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry services is under way, which should include children’s services (more details from the Wales Neurological Alliance).

SEND Pathfinder Programme
The SEND pathfinder programme final report, published by the Dept for Education, includes information from families that took part in the trials for the new education, health and care system in England, what it is like and what they think of it.

SEN Statements and Education, Health and Care Plans
From 1 September 2015, the maximum timescale for local councils in England to transfer children from Statements of SEN to Education, Health and Care Plans is extended from 16 to 20 weeks. (Minister of State for Children and Families). Under 2015 No. 1619, The Children and Families Act 2014 (Transitional and Saving Provisions) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2015, any transfers where assessment notices have already been issued before 1 September 2015 must still be completed under the rules of the old timetable.

“It’s time to update classroom strategies for those with ASD”
Blog post written by an adult with autism in the light of recent research, coinciding with the beginning of school terms when educational plans such as IEPs for individual children are in formation, (Autism Awareness Center Inc.)

Legislation

2015 No. 1578 (W. 187), The Care and Support (Eligibility) (Wales) Regulations 2015
From 6 April 2016, sets out in detail the criteria that must be met if a person is to receive local authority funded support, including children with additional needs and carers.

2015 No. 1305 (W. 111), The Care and Support (Assessment) (Wales) Regulations 2015
Further regulations about social care assessments for children, adults and carers from 6 April 2016.

Qualifications Wales Act 2015
Establishes a new authority, Qualifications Wales, to recognise and approve awarding bodies and qualifications, and other administrative functions. Most of the Act is in force from 5 August 2015, other parts are not in force yet at the time if writing.

Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015
New legislation covering people who may need to be detained in a mental health treatment setting. It includes parts that may affect children and their parents / carers. Some of it is in force already, some still to be put in place.

2015 No. 321, The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Integration Joint Board Establishment) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 3) Order 2015
From 3 October 2015, creates Joint Boards in areas of Scotland for carrying out health and social care functions.

2015 No. 1662, The Social Fund Cold Weather Payments (General) Amendment (No.2) Regulations 2015
From 1 November, arrangements for postcode coverage from specific monitoring weather stations to trigger the payments in the coming winter.

2015 No. 1670 (C. 95), The Pensions Act 2014 (Commencement No. 6) Order 2015
From 12 October, extends to Northern Ireland the facility to top up National Insurance contributions for those reaching, or having reached pension age before 6 April 2016. This may apply to some carers. More information: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/376087/class3a-vol-conts.pdf and articles such as http://www.independent.co.uk/money/pensions/why-its-not-always-best-to-top-up-your-state-pension-9101635.html (The Independent).

2015 No. 1685, The Adoption Information and Intermediary Services (Pre-Commencement Adoptions) (Amendment) Regulations 2015
From 10 November 2015, regulations allowing adoption agencies in England to provide information to intermediary organisations in Wales where a person adopted before the end of December 2005 has requested knowledge of and contact with their birth relatives.