Fund social care through tax – anything else punishes those who need it | Jane Young

The Tories betray wilful ignorance in refusing to acknowledge that some adults need support all their lives – asking them to pay care costs is wrong

Much has been said about the Conservative manifesto pledges on social care and Theresa May’s subsequent U-turn, but one issue that has so far escaped scrutiny is the Tories’ strange assumption that social care is all about older people. This is despite the fact that around a third of those who need social care services are of working age [pdf].

Social care affects all adults who need support because of a disability or long-term health condition. This might include a learning disability, a physical disability or severe and enduring mental ill-health. The failure of the Conservative manifesto to acknowledge any of this gives the impression of a party that is wilfully ignorant of the nature of adult social care and its beneficiaries.

Related: The ‘dementia tax’ mess shows how little May thinks of disabled people | Frances Ryan

Related: Forget money – we need to rethink what social care should look like

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Five priorities for improving children’s mental health | Paul Burstow

The mental wealth of the nation is critical to our future – young people’s mental wellbeing should be paramount

The mental health of the nation is built on foundations laid in the early years of our lives. Yet our mental health system is designed and funded to pay the price of our failure to act on the evidence and invest in the right family support in those childhood years.

We go through many life changes and transitions in our childhood and teenage years. It’s why the age of 18 is the wrong time for child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) to “hand over” to adult services. A joint report by the health and education select committees has turned the spotlight on the role schools can play.

Related: We’re working with children in care to improve mental health | Tony Hunter

Related: Mental health services won’t help children in temporary care settings

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A supportive, loving community can help heal neglected children | Emma Colyer

Research suggests children exposed to neglect or abuse suffer poor health as adults and die sooner. We need to address the causes, not treat the symptoms

Our childhood stays with us throughout our lives. We know this intuitively, from the shiver that can accompany memories of an upsetting event from our early years even into adulthood. But it is also true in a much deeper way.

The Adverse Childhood Experience (Ace) study, carried out in the US in the 1990s, found that children exposed to serious neglect, abuse or household dysfunction were at significantly greater risk of a litany of poor health and social outcomes, ranging from heart disease, liver disease and sexually transmitted diseases to depression, suicide attempts and intimate partner violence. Most starkly, people with a high score on the Ace scale died on average nearly 20 years earlier [pdf] than their counterparts who reported no childhood adversity.

Related: Why secure early bonding is essential for babies

If the right questions are not being asked, we cannot expect to find the right answers

Related: How childhood stress can knock 20 years off your life

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Six innovations that could build a new social care system

Small community organisations and social enterprises could form an efficient, cost-effective support system for adults

An unexpected effect of cuts to council budgets, and the ensuing crisis in support services for adults and older people, is that the public is starting to understand for the first time what social care for adults actually is. The challenge now is for us to imagine what it could be.

In March, the government announced a green paper in response to the overwhelming evidence that the way we support older and disabled people is neither working nor affordable. Fewer people are getting support, care providers are leaving the sector and handing back contracts to councils, and hospitals are filling up with older people who have no medical reason to be there.

Related: Social care green paper is an opportunity too important to be missed | Peter Beresford

Related: How we can start a social care revolution in seven easy steps | Katie Johnston

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England’s new metro mayors will have influential role in NHS | Richard Vize

Voters in six regions are to elect mayors, who could provide the biggest surprise when it comes to health policies

While Labour will be desperate to push the NHS to the centre of the general election campaign, and the Liberal Democrats will be emphasising their commitment to mental health services, it is the six regional mayors being elected for the first time in May who could provide the biggest surprise when it comes to health policies.

The exact powers of the six – covering Tees Valley, Greater Manchester, Liverpool city region, West Midlands, West of England and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough – vary depending on the deal each region reached with the government, but none of them will control the NHS.

Related: Are we ready for a grown-up election debate on the NHS and social care? | Niall Dickson

Mayors could easily derail STP plans without any obligation to provide a coherent alternative

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We’re working with children in care to improve mental health | Tony Hunter

More than 70% of children in care have mental health problems; an expert panel is drawing up an action plan

It’s good news that mental health in general, and children’s mental health in particular, is being given increasing attention by the media and greater consideration by policymakers. Yet the mental health and wellbeing of children in care is too often marginalised in these debates. More than 70% of children in care have been diagnosed with mental health problems. Perhaps you just assume that it goes with the territory and there’s not much that can be done about it. This is absolutely not the case.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (Scie) has started a new project, commissioned by the departments of health and education, to ensure that children in care have access to high-quality services, based on a clear assessment of need, from a range of professionals working across different agencies. The project is likely to suggest significant changes to the way assessments are conducted for children in care, which could have a big impact on up to 70,000 care-experienced children and young people.

Related: Mental health services won’t help children in temporary care settings

Related: Children’s mental health in crisis – readers share their stories

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Good social workers are invaluable. So let’s give them proper support | David Brindle

Research reveals that some think social workers are there to pop to the shops for you. It’s time to restore some prestige

About three in every 10 people in Britain think social workers help with household chores like cooking and cleaning, with personal care like washing and dressing, and with childcare. Two in 10 reckon they will nip to the shops for you. Asked to choose from a given list of professionals they consider important providers of mental health support, 69% of people identify psychiatrists and 65% GPs – but only 41% pick social workers.

Related: The secret life of a social worker: you just have to get used to letting people down | Anonymous

Related: Social care is in desperate need of a champion | David Brindle

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