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Loneliness: an underappreciated problem
A huge number of people in NI frequently feel lonely. It is a problem for people of all ages and in all sorts of situations. The impact on health and wellbeing is enormous.
If you want to improve the benefits system, speak up
The IFS says Universal Credit will lower the incomes of millions of people and that the welfare reform “hits the persistently poor the hardest on average.” But change is possible.
Back to the drawing board for sustainable transport to school
Efforts are underway to change transport habits in Northern Ireland – but they might not be working. Scope looks at the annual school transport figures.
The Justice Department wants your views on how best to beat internet grooming and child abuse
How justice agencies and the law tackle online child sexual exploitation is evolving. Common availability of the internet is only about 20 years old – while the reach and nature of usage has changed massively in the last decade.
Quality of life is easy to understand but difficult to pin down
Reform is possible in NI, even without a government. Officials last week published a paper seeking to understand what is meant by “quality of life” – with the ultimate aim of improving the lot of adults and children with disabilities.
The justice system needs to change – like it has many times before
Key principles of our justice system could be bent or broken in cases of sexual violence. Perhaps they need to be – and, really, that’s nothing new.
Justice is rare for victims of rape
The criminal justice system is failing rape victims in Northern Ireland. The third sector provides good support for anyone affected – but structural reform is necessary. Scope speaks with Victim Support NI.
Improving mental health outcomes will tell us a lot about society
This could prove to be a good week for mental health provision in Northern Ireland. Maybe. Not just because of more money for services - the City Deal could help, too. And it might have to.
Smacking children leads to a more violent society
In Northern Ireland, parents are still allowed to use corporal punishment as long as it is "reasonable chastisement". New research suggests this leads to more violence among young people than if it was banned outright.
How NI's education system still falls short on relationships and sex
More young people in the UK are contacting Childline because of issues around consent and peer sexual abuse. Here in NI, our ethos-driven schools system fails by design.
Modern media and self esteem
More young people are calling Childline due to eating disorders. Media can affect self esteem - but while it is fair to ask for certain standards from providers, it is more important to prepare young people for life in the digital age.
A lifetime of Early Years
Siobhan Fitzpatrick CBE, CEO of Early Years - the organisation for young people, was awarded an honorary doctorate by QUB last week. Scope talks with her about four decades of pioneering child development.
Children in NI face plenty of problems (part two)
The second half of our look at NICCY’s Statement on Children’s Rights in NI focuses on safeguarding – including protections from child sexual exploitation and bullying, and fair treatment for those subject to immigration control.
Children in NI face plenty of problems (part one)
The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY) has just released a comprehensive report on the problems faced by local children right now. It deserves close attention.