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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.
Employability programmes can transform lives and communities
The European Social Fund has committed £200m to NI for employability schemes – including Start360’s Switch onto Employment. The organisation tells Scope that ESF’s post-Brexit replacement cannot be half hearted.
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.
Welfare Reform mitigations have problems that could be helped by an Executive
An Audit Office report has highlighted huge Welfare Reform underspend. Several NI organisations say bigger problems are coming. With no Assembly, we are rudderless – but Stormont struggled to deal with this first time round.
How NI relies on Europe for employability schemes
The European Social Fund represents a small amount of EU money – but supports a huge proportion of the schemes in its sector. Westminster’s delay on developing a replacement is worrying.
Helping young people in difficult circumstances is challenging – but organisations are well placed to assist each other
Partnership doesn’t have to mean joint projects – it can just be about regularly sharing ideas. The response of several youth groups brought together by the Urban Villages Initiative shows the value of strategic co-operation.
Can ancestral trauma haunt the living?
Northern Ireland has high levels of mental ill health, self-harm and suicide. Attributing this to “inter-generational trauma” has become a mantra amongst commentators.
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.
Over-medication is a symptom of our failing children's mental health service
Other services have huge waiting lists but prescribing drugs to treat mental health problems takes very little time. Given the sector's fundamental lack of resources, an over-reliance on medication is unsurprising - but it needs to stop.
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.