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Ofsted said a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub was under pressure as a result of poor police notifications to social workers

by Luke Stevenson

Photo: tatomm/Fotolia

Social workers are being placed “under pressure” as a result of poor police notifications to the multi-agency safeguarding hub, an inspection of Poole’s children’s services has found.

Inspectors found social workers in the council’s hub were placed under pressure due to having to gather “unnecessary information” following police notifications that did not meet the threshold for social care.

Ofsted rated children’s services in Poole as ‘require improvement to be good’ overall, but said thresholds for referrals to social care were generally well understood and applied by partners.

It added that responses to referrals were generally effective and the risks were well managed, but concluded that parental consent was not routinely recorded. Inspectors recommended the council ensure sufficient resources for the hub, to ensure professionals had the capacity to share information in a timely manner.

Inconsistent outcomes

Inspectors praised the senior leadership team who had worked “purposefully with partners to implement a number of systemic changes to sustain and improve outcomes for children”.

However, these outcomes were inconsistent, and despite strengths in adoption and care leaver performance weaknesses had emerged in child protection and looked-after children services.

“Senior managers know that there is still work to do to strengthen many aspects of social work practice to make it consistently good,” the report said.

Caseload reduction

Poole’s improvement plan had led to a reduction in social workers’ caseloads and the workforce was stable, Ofsted found, but quality assurance activity had not yet led to improved outcomes for children for all children because of “inconsistent management oversight”.

The report said: “Regular supervision takes place for the vast majority of social workers, but the quality is variable and not yet sufficiently reflective to challenge ineffective practice.

“Weak management oversight and some poor practice in the out-of-hours service have left some children vulnerable.”

Recommendations for Poole council included improving contingency planning in child protection and child in need cases and increasing the effectiveness of management oversight by ensuring decisions and actions are clearly recorded within children’s case files.

Mike White, cabinet portfolio holder for Children and Young People in the council welcomed the strengths Ofsted found in the service.

“It’s particularly pleasing that the inspectors recognised the great work of our social workers in listening to children when helping those families in need of our support,” White said.

“We are committed to improving outcomes for all children in the borough and will use the findings of this report to further raise the standard of our service,” he added.


Source : Social workers in council’s safeguarding hub ‘under pressure’ gathering ‘unnecessary information’, Ofsted finds : Community Care


By Ashley Parker and John Wagner

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

[Breaking: British prime minister’s office says Trump was wrong to retweet videos of “hateful” anti-Muslim group.]

President Trump on Wednesday shared three inflammatory anti-Muslim videos on Twitter posted by a far-right British activist.

The videos — whose authenticity could not be independently verified — were first shared by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, which bills itself as a political party but has been widely condemned as an extremist group that targets mosques and Muslims.

Britain First has previously posted a number of misleading videos, and the three Trump shared were provocatively titled “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!,” “Muslim destroys a statue of Virgin Mary!” and “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!”

Fransen, 31, who lives in a London suburb, was convicted of religiously aggravated harassment in November 2016 after abusing a woman wearing a hijab.

Fransen was arrested again earlier this month after comments she made during a speech in Belfast.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to why the president retweeted Fransen’s provocative and unverified videos. It was not immediately clear how the videos came to Trump’s attention, but conservative columnist Ann Coulter, whom Trump follows on Twitter, retweeted one of them on Tuesday.

The video of the rooftop mob dates to July 2013 and was purportedly filmed in Alexandria, Egypt, shortly after the military overthrew President Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist and the country’s first democratically elected president. The coup set off weeks of protests and violent clashes between Morsi’s supporters on one side, and Egyptian security forces and military supporters on the other, culminating in an Egyptian security force raid on a pro-Morsi protest camp that killed as many as a thousand people.

The president has a history of retweeting other controversial supporters, including white supremacists and neo-Nazis, and during his campaign proposed a ban on all Muslims from entering the country.

Following Trump’s retweets, Fransen took to Twitter to tout the U.S. president’s promotion of her videos.

“Donald Trump himself has retweeted these videos and has around 44 million followers!” she wrote. “God Bless You Trump! God Bless America!”

Trump’s tweets were strongly condemned by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization.

“By his unconscionable and irresponsible actions this morning, President Trump is clearly telling members of his base that they should hate Islam and Muslims,” said Nihad Awad, the group’s national executive director. “These are actions one would expect to see on virulent anti-Muslim hate sites, not on the Twitter feed of the president of the United States. Trump’s posts amount to incitement to violence against American Muslims. His actions should be condemned by all American political and religious leaders, regardless of their party or faith.”

Piers Morgan, a British journalist and television host who was also a winner on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” was also quick to rebuke the president.

“Good morning, Mr President @realDonaldTrump — what the hell are you doing retweeting a bunch of unverified videos by Britain First, a bunch of disgustingly racist far-right extremists? Please STOP this madness & undo your retweets,” he wrote.

Britain First was founded in 2011 and has sought to have its members elected to Parliament but has failed to win seats.

Nick Ryan, of the anti-extremist group Hope Not Hate, told the Independent newspaper it was “pretty incredulous that the leader of the free world would stoop to sharing content from one of the most notorious far-right groups in the U.K.”

In June 2016, the Labour Party member of Parliament Jo Cox was killed by an assailant alleged to have shouted “Britain first!” Leaders of the Britain First group said there were no ties between the attacker and their organization. The assailant, however, had links to neo-Nazi groups.

On Wednesday, Cox’s widower, Brendan Cox, tweeted: “Trump has legitimised the far right in his own country, now he’s trying to do it in ours. Spreading hatred has consequences & the President should be ashamed of himself.”

A right-wing group in Britain marches in a Muslim neighborhood and gets the fight it wants

William Booth in London and Abigail Hauslohner in Washington contributed to this report.

Ashley Parker is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2017, after 11 years at The New York Times, where she covered the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns and Congress, among other things.

 Follow @ashleyrparker

John Wagner is a national political reporter covering the White House.

 Follow @WPJohnWagner

Source : Trump retweets inflammatory and unverified anti-Muslim videos : The Washington Post

This is a disgraceful situation and only goes to prove that the benefit system is not ‘fit for purpose’.

It also goes to show that the ‘so called’ , health professionals are not trained sufficiently to consider all aspects of each individual condition they will come across when they are assessing the various claims being put before them.

For some of these health professionals are asking claimants who have progressive life-long conditions when they expect they will recover, this just shows their ignorance for you do not recover from life-long progressive conditions only get considerably worse.

From the vast numbers of claimants who have had their claims turned down only to be awarded on appeal shows their complete lack of understand what they are doing. Or is it they are not there to correctly assess a claim, but to go to any lengths to turned as many claims as they wish to.

I believe each assessor should be assessed on their ability to assess correctly by using the appeals process as a measure of each individuals assessors ability to assess correctly and then they should be remunerated accordingly.

What is really the situation here is it to grant benefits to persons who are entitled to them or is the first priority to turn down claims. From the publicity and the stated statistics which are published it would appear to be the later.

Britain Isn't Eating

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Measures to address the long-term reform of adult social care need to be brought forward to tackle the significant financial, workforce and quality pressures facing the sector, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) is urging.


With more than half (53%) of councils expecting to overspend their adult social care budgets this year by up to nearly £21 million each, quality challenges increasing as a result of council savings, and vacancy rates for home care staff rising, there is a fear that the sustainability of adult social care could breach its tipping point.


Despite a £2 billion injection for social care over three years, which is going to reduce delayed transfers of care from hospitals, and the publication of a Green Paper next summer, ADASS remains concerned that this does not address a continuing funding gap, increased support for people living longer with more complex needs and the costs of the welcome National Living Wage.


The challenges – which threaten the ability of councils to fulfil their statutory duty under the Care Act – are impacting now on older and disabled people and their families, as well as care markets, care workers and the NHS.


ADASS is particularly concerned that financial pressures for the increasing care needs of working age adults – those with learning or physical disabilities or mental health problems – now exceed those of older people.


With ring-fenced investment money topping a list of concerns of Directors, ADASS has made its submission to the Autumn Budget, in which it is calling on Government to:


·         Build on the additional £2 billion for the period to 2019/20 by taking further steps to secure extra recurring funding to address continuing service pressures and secure the stability of the care market


·         Bring forward at the earliest opportunity clear and wide-ranging options for consultation about putting the social care system on a more secure and sustainable long-term footing beyond 2020. This should aim to secure the right balance between the protection of private assets from catastrophic care costs and adequate public funding for those who have never been able to acquire such assets


·         Help to address the urgent workforce pressures in the sector by: affording care staff, social workers and social care nurses the same recognition as other professionals, like doctors, nurses and teachers; enhancing the status of care workers and addressing pay issues and training; and developing a national recruitment campaign and addressing the uncertainty for non-UK EU citizens who are a crucial part of our workforce.

Recognising the importance of adult social care in achieving long-term transformation of the wider health and care systems in order to promote independence and reduce the need for long-term care; and ensuring the full engagement of councils in sustainability and transformation partnerships and in the emergence of accountable care systems.

Margaret Willcox, President of ADASS, said:

“There is a growing depth of shared concerns about the quality, safety and sufficiency of adult social care services from across the sector. This is impacting on thousands of older and disabled people and their families now.

“The extra £1 billion for adult social care this year barely covers the £824 million in savings that Directors will have made this year and cannot hide the fact that by the end of this financial year, £6 billion has been cut from councils’ adult social care budgets since 2010 – with need for our services growing all that time.

“With a continuing funding gap this year and beyond, increased overspending in council budgets, care providers closing or returning contracts, rising need, extra costs due to the National Living Wage and continuing difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff, the social care system remains in a perilously fragile state.

“Not only is there evidence that the future care needs of older people will be greater than previous estimates, with far more care home places required over the coming years, but greater cost pressures are now coming from the needs of working age adults.

“Dedicated and hard-working care workers are providing good, personal care despite increasing pressures, but only 4 per cent of Directors are fully confident in their ability to fulfil their statutory duties under the Care Act this year.

“Adult social care needs to be a national priority and future-proofed for current and future generations who will be needing care in increasing numbers and for a longer time during their lives.

“Whilst we are pleased that Government has committed to publishing the long-awaited Green Paper on social care next summer, more needs to be done now to secure extra recurring money to address funding gaps, address continuing service pressures and the stability of the care market.

“Proposals for the long-term reform of adult social care should be brought forward and need to address the needs of the whole population – not just older people.

“It is also vital that future funding settlement for the NHS and adult social care take account of the inter-dependency of these services and encourage collaboration rather than cost shunting.

“The need for a cross-party consensus on establishing a fair and transparent solution to adult social care is growing – and ADASS looks forward to contributing to debates on this.”


Source : Adult social care needs long term funding, starting now says ADASS : Care Industry News


The impact of an individual complaint in improving care services for others is being highlighted in a new report by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman’s Review of Adult Social Care Complaints reveals councils and care providers implemented more than 1,300 recommendations to put things right for people in 2016/17.

As well as putting things right for an individual, the Ombudsman makes recommendations to improve services for others by changing policies and procedures, training staff, or recommending a service be provided.

Within the Ombudsman’s 1,318 recommendations, councils and care providers made nearly 180 procedural changes and committed to train staff on nearly 50 occasions.

In some cases the result of a single investigation leads to the Ombudsman looking at injustices caused to people who haven’t complained. Examples of this over the past year include one person’s complaint about the way a council charged for care leading to more than 60 people, who had been similarly affected, receiving refunds.

In another case a couple complained about their council’s blanket policy to reduce the level of care it provided, and nearly 70 other families had their care reviewed following the Ombudsman’s investigation.

Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said:

“I want to highlight the power that one person speaking up can have in changing services for the better for everyone.

“Our recommendations not only put things right for individuals, but aim to help councils and care providers avoid the same problems affecting others. Where we think a fault was caused by a procedural or policy issue, we recommend ways to review and change those practices.”

The report also welcomes the increase in complaints the Ombudsman has received about independent care providers. This reflects the growing importance the sector is placing on making the complaints process more visible and informing people of their rights to come to the Ombudsman.

Mr King also encouraged those organisations – both public and independently owned – where complaints were taken on board, and analysed, at the most senior level.

He said:

“Strong leadership in the sector is essential to foster a true learning culture from complaints. Good leaders will empower their staff to respond quickly and with confidence to customer concerns, and ensure the learning from complaints is actively owned at a cabinet or board level.

“When things do go wrong, it is those organisations with such strong leadership which are best placed to gain from the outcome of our investigations.”

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said:

“In a sector being squeezed in all directions, it is heartening to see providers being praised for making the role of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman better known and take a lead in learning from complaints, particularly in addressing self-funder complaints.

“It is right and proper that the sector works with the Ombudsman to create a more robust system where there is more confidence in care providers.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said:

“This report from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman reinforces how important it is for people, their families and carers, to experience good, safe care that is responsive to their individual needs.

“CQC’s own State of Care report highlights the critical role strong leadership has in delivering high quality care and bringing about improvement. Being open to feedback, acting appropriately on people’s complaints and actively seeking out ways to put things right are essential elements of this.

“I encourage providers to use this report to reflect on how they listen and learn from people’s experiences, concerns and complaints. If all services did this then the quality of care would be better for everyone which is what we all want to see.”


Source : Ombudsman highlights the power of complaints to improve social care : Care Industry News

(CNN) Be extra careful of the male lawmakers who sleep in their offices — they can be trouble. Avoid finding yourself alone with a congressman or senator in elevators, late-night meetings or events where alcohol is flowing. And think twice before speaking out about sexual harassment from a boss — it could cost you your career.

These are a few of the unwritten rules that some female lawmakers, staff and interns say they follow on Capitol Hill, where they say harassment and coercion is pervasive on both sides of the rotunda.
There is also the “creep list” — an informal roster passed along by word-of-mouth, consisting of the male members most notorious for inappropriate behavior, ranging from making sexually suggestive comments or gestures to seeking physical relations with younger employees and interns.
CNN spoke with more than 50 lawmakers, current and former Hill aides and political veterans who have worked in Congress, the majority of whom spoke anonymously to be candid and avoid potential repercussions. With few exceptions, every person said they have personally experienced sexual harassment on the Hill or know of others who have.
In an environment with “so many young women,” said one ex-House aide, the men “have no self-control.” “Amongst ourselves, we know,” a former Senate staffer said of the lawmakers with the worst reputations. And sometimes, the sexual advances from members of Congress or senior aides are reciprocated in the hopes of advancing one’s career — what one political veteran bluntly referred to as a “sex trade on Capitol Hill.”
These anecdotes portray a workplace where women are subjected to constant harassment — both subtle and explicit. They also highlight an antiquated reporting system that discourages some victims from speaking out, leaving many professionals on the Hill to rely instead on hushed advice from peers and mentors.
On Tuesday, a House committee held a hearing to examine the chamber’s sexual harassment policies, and the Senate last week passed a resolution making sexual harassment training mandatory for senators, staff and interns — two clear acknowledgments of the need for reform. Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell support ramping up sexual harassment training.
One female congresswoman told CNN that she has experienced sexual harassment from her male colleagues on multiple occasions over the years, but she declined to speak on the record or detail those interactions.
“Half are harassers,” she said of her male counterparts in Congress, before quickly adding that that was an over-estimate — only “some are harassers,” she said.

Capitol Hill’s open secret: ‘We know’ who they are

What began as a typical workday left one woman feeling “horrified.”
A former Senate staffer recalled getting on the “members only” elevator — designed to let lawmakers easily reach the House and Senate floors — with her boss a few years ago. Her boss introduced her to another senator in the elevator. Both senators are men and still currently in office.
When she leaned in to shake that senator’s hand, he stroked the inside of her palm “in a really gross, suggestive way” — a gesture that was completely invisible to her boss. The ex-staffer said she was rattled and “felt very yucky.” She was also shaken by how brazen the senator was to do this with his colleague standing right next to them.
The woman, who declined to be named or reveal the senator’s identity, told CNN that she avoided that lawmaker from that day on. She also never told her then-boss about it — she was embarrassed and nervous to make it an issue, she said, and simply “took it for the gross moment that it was.”
“Nothing about it felt right,” she said.
In conversations with CNN, multiple women pointed to the elevators on Capitol Hill as a place where staff and members prey on women and say they have been advised to avoid riding alone with men if possible. One woman said years after leaving her job in Congress, she still feels anxious about being alone in elevators with men.
The inappropriate conduct is hardly limited to the confines of elevators.
The unique lifestyle on the Hill helps fuel a hostile culture. Many male members are far away from their families, including their spouses, during the week, frequently working late nights and attending evening fundraisers and events where alcohol flows freely. Often, they are staffed by younger, female employees. Some members of Congress forgo a Washington-area apartment and sleep in their offices, a practice several sources highlighted as problematic.
One aide who works in the Senate described Capitol Hill as “a sort of old school, Wild West workplace culture that has a lot of ‘work hard, play hard’ ethos and without the sort of standard professionalism that you find in more traditional workplaces.”
The dozens of interviews that CNN conducted with both men and women also revealed that there is an unwritten list of male lawmakers — made up primarily of House representatives where there are many more members than the Senate — notorious for inappropriate or predatory behavior. Several people simply referred to that roster as the “creep list.”
More than half a dozen interviewees independently named one California congressman for pursuing female staffers; another half dozen pointed to a Texas congressman for engaging in inappropriate behavior. CNN is not naming either of those lawmakers because the stories are unverified.
“Amongst ourselves, we know,” a former Senate aide said referring to sexual harassers and their behavior. “There is a certain code amongst us, we acknowledge among each other what occurs.”

Some stay silent; others tolerate bad behavior: ‘There’s a little bit of a sex trade on Capitol Hill’

Even as explosive allegations in Hollywood and media have taken down powerful figures like producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis C.K. and political journalist Mark Halperin, on Capitol Hill, it’s not clear that a similar a day of reckoning is soon coming to one of the country’s most important institutions.
The power dynamics in Washington contribute to this problem. Most offices are staffed by early-career professionals who are trying to make a name for themselves in Washington. They also report directly to members of Congress.
“A lot of it has to do with being in a place where people who have power try to exert it to get what they want,” one Senate staffer said, adding that a lot of the most egregious examples happen “on the cocktail circuit” — where powerful men intermingle with younger staffers outside of the Capitol.
It’s “people using their power without any self-control,” a former House staffer said. “There are a lot of tales of these guys going out and behaving very badly with younger staffers.”
But some women tolerate the advances or even reciprocate them — everything from flirting to getting physically intimate — believing that it is one way to climb the ladder.
“There’s a little bit of a sex trade on Capitol Hill. If a part of getting ahead on Capitol Hill is playing ball with whatever douchebag — then whatever,” said one female political veteran who worked on Capitol Hill.
Former Rep. Mary Bono said publicly this month that she endured suggestive comments from a fellow lawmaker for years before eventually confronting him. Rep. Linda Sanchez and ex-Rep. Hilda Solis also told the Associated Press stories of repeated inappropriate comments from lawmakers, including some who are still in office.
One woman who began her career in Washington in the 1980s and is now in her 50s, told CNN that she still constantly takes precautions to protect herself from powerful men.
“I think women have to watch where they are and how they are all the time,” she said.
Travis Moore, a former aide to ex-Rep. Henry Waxman, started a signature-gathering campaign last week calling on congressional leaders to reform “inadequate” sexual harassment policies in Congress. His letter has gathered over 1,500 signatures.
Moore told CNN that he was deeply affected by a close friend who confided in him that, while she was an aide in the Senate, she constantly received sexual comments from a superior, who was an aide. When she reported the behavior to her chief of staff, she was “questioned harshly about it and her motives were questioned.”
The accused aide was not reprimanded and there was no recourse.

‘The place where complaints go to die’

Harassment on Capitol Hill isn’t always sexual in nature.
Around 2011, Liz was a young and fast-rising aide on the Hill. Her career was thriving and her work was getting noticed. But in the Senate office where Liz worked, her direct boss, a male senior aide, yelled and physically intimidated her.
She eventually sought help from the Office of Compliance, the little-known agency established in part to oversee workplace disputes in Congress. But Liz, whose first name has been changed to conceal her identity, told CNN that this was the implicit but clear message she received from the office: “There’s no real case to any of this.”
“It is like, the place where complaints go to die,” she said. “It was like I was talking to a black hole of people who didn’t care.”
Years later, Liz, who no longer works on the Hill, said she still wonders whether her decision to report her boss’s behavior damaged her career.
When asked to respond to Liz’s story, OOC Executive Director Susan Tsui Grundmann said in a statement, “Congress designed us to be a non-partisan, independent process, which means that we are not an advocate for either side.”
The OOC, established by the Congressional Accountability Act in the 1990s, has come under fire in recent weeks for what some say are antiquated rules that can intimidate victims into silence.
What’s more, the initial proceedings alone can drag out for months.
If a congressional aide wants to file a formal complaint with the OOC, they must first engage in 30 days of counseling. After 30 days, they can choose to go into mediation with a representative of the congressional office that they are lodging a complaint against, which can last at least another 30 days. Then, the accuser must wait an additional 30 days before they can officially file a complaint and pursue a hearing either with the OOC or the Federal District Court.
Multiple lawmakers in both chambers are drafting legislation to change the OOC’s protocol for handling workplace complaints.
Sen. Kirsten Gilibrand’s forthcoming bill would remove the 30-day waiting period before a victim can initiate the administrative hearing phase of the process. In the House, Rep. Jackie Speier is proposing similar legislation.
There is also growing pressure for more transparency so that the public can see information like the number of sexual harassment complaints filed with the OOC, the number of settlements reached, the dollar figure of those settlements and which offices are receiving complaints. CNN, along with some members of Congress, has requested that information.
Tracy Manzer, a spokeswoman for Speier, said 80% of people who have come to their office with stories of sexual misconduct in the last few weeks have chosen not to report the incidents to the OOC.
And many of those who did said the process was a nightmare, forcing them to stop midway through — some were told things like, “You can’t prove it” and “it’ll be a nightmare” to move forward, Manzer said.
The female congresswoman who told CNN that she has been sexually harassed by her male colleagues numerous times said she believed there is little upside to speaking out.
“I need these guys’ votes,” she said. “In this body, you may be an enemy one day and a close ally the next when accomplishing something. … So women will be very cautious about saying anything negative about any of their colleagues.”
Is that depressing? “I think it’s reality,” she said.
This story has been updated to reflect that Tuesday’s House hearing on sexual harassment has completed.

Source : ‘Nothing about it felt right’: More than 50 people describe sexual harassment on Capitol Hill : CNN politics

Irony is dead.


Kellyanne Conway, center, with husband George Conway, right, greet guests on the South Lawn of the White House during a Halloween event. CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais


White House adviser Kellyanne Conway refused repeatedly to say whether Alabama Republican Roy Moore should step aside in his Senate race over allegations he is a serial child molester.

Conway, who played an essential role in protecting President Donald Trump’s candidacy a year ago when tapes of him describing his pattern of sexual assault nearly sunk his campaign, told ABC’s Martha Raddatz that the allegations are disqualifying if they are true but would not give a clear answer on her view of the charges.

In the process of demurring on Moore’s guilt or innocence, Conway said elected officials who are guilty of sexual assault or harassment should resign — a call to action that would seem to implicate Conway’s boss, who openly bragged about grabbing women and has been accused of sexual assault by numerous former associates.

“I want to be very clear, I want to be explicit here, I denounce that conduct, and if the allegations are true he ought to step aside,” Conway told ABC’s Martha Raddatz during a tense, long exchange about the report that Republican senate candidate Roy Moore (AL) habitually sought the romantic and sexual company of children during his 30s.

“And if the allegations are true about a lot of people, they oughta step aside,” Conway continued. “And some of them are probably holding office right now.”

Conway said the press should pay more attention to Sen. Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) ongoing corruption trial. She also invoked former President Bill Clinton (D), who was repeatedly accused of sexual assault and predatory behavior toward women staffers and associates during his political career. The details of the allegations against Clinton from women like Juanita Broaddrick and Paula Jones are getting renewed scrutiny thanks to their parallels to the tactics of confessed serial abusers like Harvey Weinstein, as numerous pundits have noted in recent weeks.

But where Clinton’s alleged history of predation goes, so follows Trump’s. Both men have been accused of sexual assault by multiple women over a course of decades.

“I don’t know the accusers and I don’t know Judge [Roy] Moore. But I also want to make sure that we as a nation are not prosecuting people through the press,” Conway told Raddatz Sunday morning.

With Raddatz repeatedly pressing Conway for a straight answer on whether or not she personally believes the allegations leveled against Moore in reporting that pulls from 30 different source interviews in his state, Trump’s senior communicator demurred.

“I don’t know Leigh Corfman,” Conway said, referring to one of four women who told the Washington Post that Moore touched them while he was in his 30s and they were teenagers. “I believe that both sides are alleging different things here,” she said, before reiterating her call for anyone who’s raped a woman or child to step down from office.

“If there’s anyone currently in public office who’s behaved that way to any girl or any woman, maybe they should step aside. Because in a country of 330 million people we oughta be able to do any of this,” Conway said.

She went on to invoke her own history of speaking out about sexual assault and harassment by powerful men in politics, all without ever acknowledging that she continues to work for a man who bragged on tape about “grab[bing women] by the pussy” because “when you’re a celebrity they let you do it.”

“I tried to raise this issue a year ago, on October 9th, I said explicitly that I had been a victim of people in power,” Conway told Raddatz. “And nobody took me seriously. You know why? Because of who I work for, of whose campaign I was managing.”

The October 9, 2016, comments Conway was referring to followed the bombshell publication of videos showing Trump bragging about groping women he found attractive and getting away with it. Conway insisted her boss was a “gentleman” and praised him for apologizing after he dismissed his comments as “locker-room talk” in a televised debate.

Steve Bannon, then campaign manager for Trump, later told reporters that Conway deserved all the credit for Trump’s candidacy surviving the release of the tapes, which seemed to corroborate in his own words a pattern of assaultive behavior alleged against him by more than a dozen individual women over the years.

“If Kellyanne had not been there when the firestorm hit, I don’t know if we would have made it,” Bannon told the Atlantic in the spring. “She literally became a cult figure during that time period, just because of her relentless advocacy for Trump on TV.”

For her pains, Trump rewarded her by being himself. Four days after Conway’s public defense of her boss as a “gentleman,” Trump mocked the women who have accused him of sexual assault by saying they were too unattractive for him to have bothered with.

Believe me, she would not be my first choice,” Trump said of one of his many accusers on October 13, 2016.

Conway has now worked in service of Trump’s message and career for 17 months and counting.


Source : A straight-faced Kellyanne Conway says anyone in office who committed sexual assault should resign : ThinkProgress


Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Penny, Finn and Harper Ellis pretend to operate on their mother Kelby Ellis at home in Lehi on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. Utah Valley Hospital now screens all new moms for postpartum depression, which Ellis experienced after her children were born, before leaving the hospital.

PROVO — New moms are often given a checklist of things to know before leaving the hospital with their inherently needy little ones.

And, until recently, the focus was mostly on the baby.

“We don’t want the moms to suffer,” said Kerri Abney, a licensed clinical social worker who works in the mother/baby unit at Utah Valley Hospital. She said a lot of moms go home with a new baby not knowing that feeling overwhelmed and weak is common, but can lead to bigger problems.

“A lot of women just feel like that’s the way it is because they’re a mom, but that isn’t true,” Abney said. “We want them to enjoy their time with their children.”

Utah Valley Hospital now screens all new moms for depression, anxiety and other mental health illnesses before leaving the hospital. The aim is to catch potential problems earlier and direct women who need it to treatment sooner.

“Aren’t you supposed to come home from the hospital and love your baby and want to spend all day with them, snuggle with them and be happy all the time? Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?” said Kelby Ellis, of Lehi, who experienced pretty serious postpartum depression with the births of all five of her children.

“I felt like I wanted to get in my car and drive away,” she said, recalling the first bout that hit hard and fast after bringing her oldest son home. She remembers thinking she couldn’t possibly go through it all again. “It was almost like an out-of-body experience for me.”

“I had been a fully functional, rational human being before I had this baby and now, I can’t do anything for myself,” Ellis recalls feeling. “I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t enjoying things I used to enjoy.”

She didn’t want to feel that way ever again.

That was 2009, and doctors didn’t know as much about postpartum depression as they know now — she was directed to the emergency room for IV fluids and eventually ended up in therapy and taking medication, which began to work after about six weeks. She pretty much felt she had to find her own way through it all.

After having her second child, Ellis didn’t know if the depression and anxiety would hit again, but she was more prepared.

“It kind of became apparent this was what I did after I had a baby,” she said. She endured it twice more and said Wednesday that she would not put herself and her family through it again.

“It’s too scary and disruptive, and there’s always this worry and this fear that you’re going to stay like that forever and live in this dark place forever,” Ellis said, adding that depression and anxiety affected everyone around her.

Perhaps one of the most challenging things about postpartum depression is that symptoms and treatment are different for everyone.

Abney said certain women are at higher risk of experiencing depression upon delivering a baby — those who’ve had a traumatic birth or other trauma event in their lives, single moms and others living with a lot of stress, and mothers whose babies end up needing extra care in the neonatal intensive care unit.

The trained social worker said medication can help, but more beneficial is therapy or talking with trained counselors.

“They need a safe place to process and learn different coping mechanisms,” Abney said.

The hospital uses the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale to determine whether moms need additional help working through it all. Best-case scenario, women are screened before delivery, at discharge, at their two-week appointment with the pediatrician and again at six weeks with the obstetrician. A score of 10 or above indicates potential risk for depression and anxiety, and women are at risk for up to a year after delivery.

“Most moms either have trouble sleeping or are feeling incredibly overwhelmed,” Abney said. “You can kind of see it on them.”

She hopes women won’t be afraid to talk about it, as they’re the only ones who know how they really feel.

After going through it four times (her last time after delivering twins), Ellis said she’s met plenty of moms with similar experiences to hers.

And while it’s still not openly talked about, she hopes women who experience mood changes after delivery don’t feel inferior.

“It is nothing you have done or created for yourself,” Ellis said. “It just happens, and it is unfortunate that it does happen, but in no way are you at fault for this. It’s not a choice people make. It’s something that happens with neurotransmitters in your brain and the hormones in your body that cause you to feel this way.”

“Give yourself a break and know that you’re not alone,” she said, adding that women need to be encouraged to ask for help when they need it.

It remains unknown why some mothers experience postpartum depression and others don’t, though Abney said research points to balancing hormones after delivery and how that impacts the chemicals in the brain.

“If the hormones don’t balance out after delivery … depression, anxiety and mental illness can happen,” she said. “This isn’t any different than if you were a diabetic and needed insulin.”

Issuing the survey to all moms, Abney said, will hopefully help to “normalize” the condition, get rid of the stigma surrounding postpartum depression and help women realize “they can’t just will it away.”

“There’s nothing wrong with them,” she said. “Sometimes we just need a little help.”

Being more accepting of help that is offered is one of the best things that has come from Ellis’ repeated diagnoses, as she said life has become a “wild ride” with five kids under age 8.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, that’s for sure,” she said. “But I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

In the thick of her darkest days, Ellis said she couldn’t even contemplate feeling like herself again, feeling like she would be miserable “forever.”

“I had to keep reminding myself, ‘It’s not a forever thing,'” she said. “‘It will get easier. You will feel like yourself again.'”


Source: Utah hospital now screens all new moms for depression : Deseret News Utah

Govt Newspeak

Universal Credit claimants have had to resort to using food banks after their claims were wrongly shut down (PA)Universal Credit claimants have had to resort to using food banks after their claims were wrongly shut down (PA)

Senior MP Frank Field said the bureaucratic blunders had left families with little to live on for long periods, forcing them into debt and relying on foodbanks.

Jeremy Corbyn Calls For Universal Credit To Be Halted ‘Before Millions Of People Are Made Worse Off’

He told i : “These are some of the worst cases of maladministration I have ever seen in the welfare system.”

The problems emerged as the government accelerates the implementation of its flagship welfare programme, which combines six benefits and tax credits into a single payment designed to “make work pay”.

Pleas to halt roll-out rejected

David Gauke, the Work and Pensions Secretary…

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This is good news for once and I would suggest that you be proactive and do not reply on the DWP to contact you.

We are all aware, especially taking into all the publicity given with regards to benefit assessments that you have to look after number one. If you feel there is the slightest possibility that you could be eligible for a benefit increase contact you local government DWP office. Alternatively, access a support group in your area. If you are unsure where these are this information could be available from your local authority, GP Surgery, other health areas and many others. If you have internet access then conduct an internet search, as it could well be in your interests to do so.

Govt Newspeak

 Benefits And Work

Seven months after it lost a personal independence payment (PIP) court case, the DWP has begun searching for claimants who should be getting a higher award. But many claimants, especially those who previously received no award, are likely to miss out.

Safety and supervision
Back in March 2017 the DWP lost a vital upper tribunal case relating to safety and supervision.

Until then, the DWP had argued that a claimant could only score points for being unsafe if harm was likely to occur on more than 50% of the occasions on which they attempted an activity.

A claimant who has epilepsy which causes seizures once or twice a week, for example, may not attempt to cook unsupervised because they know that if they have a seizure they could come to serious harm.

However, the DWP had been refusing to award points to claimants with epilepsy on…

View original post 771 more words

SouL SpeakS

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