Josie Oche

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'We need the public to understand what social workers do'

It's a challenging time to become the chief executive of the College of Social Work, not least with the very public dispute between the college and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). However Annie Hudson is unfazed: "They're clearly different organisations with different roles," she …

'Why I'm leading Frontline's social work education scheme'

A few years ago I was giving a lecture to new social work students. At the end, a young woman came over to say hello. I recognised her, but could not immediately place the face, until she reminded me that I had been her social worker about 10 years before. She told me that the work I had done to …

Care homes fight ageism with football, rock'n'roll and sex

Care homes up and down the country are doing their utmost to fight negativity and challenge ageist stereotypes with a whole range of initiatives, such as Care Home Idol, trips to football matches and a chart-topping band of pensioners.<p>Earlier this year, the Alzheimer's Society's published its Low …

Preventative care scheme helps vulnerable adults stay independent

In the care and support of vulnerable adults, the evidence has been building for some time to support the adage that prevention is better than cure, not only in terms of cost, but more importantly in the avoidance of crisis situations that inevitably involve the loss of someone's independence and …

Taking care of carers and care workers

Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett (Just another photograph, 27 August) reminded me poignantly of my brother Felix, especially as her article appeared on what would have been his birthday. He died last year, having been supported by carers for most of his adult life. Cosslett got it right: as with her brother, …

Care workers being paid below minimum wage

Care workers are being paid as little as £5 an hour – well below the legal minimum wage – according to a new report from a thinktank, which describes the practice as a "national scandal".<p>By examining the "work diaries" and payslips of care workers doing home visits to show how their real pay levels …

Frontline's 'elite route' into social work will create divisions

Few professions have been the subject of more controversy than social work. Now the government's new Frontline scheme for training those working with children and families seems to be adding another large helping.<p>Frontline recruits will qualify on the basis of an "intensive five-week residential …

Beware the hidden dangers of social care jargon

With his criticism of the "jargon" used in social care, Mark Neary – who won a legal battle to have his autistic son Steven returned after he was unlawfully held in a care unit by Hillingdon council – has certainly struck a chord.<p>Every profession has its own language, if not a code that is …

Demand for advocacy is rising as funding and access fall

Action for Advocacy (A4a) recently announced that it has ceased trading. As someone who was (briefly) a chief executive of A4a, I want to talk about some of what we achieved and some of the challenges left to meet.<p>When A4a started in 2001 (as Advocacy Across London), the advocacy movement was …

Older people should be supported to carry on living at home

The UK care sector, buckling under the weight of our rapidly ageing population, is driving many older people into residential care before it is absolutely necessary. This is a great tragedy, with a shocking economic cost matched only in scale by its personal devastation on individuals, who …

Over-50s make up third of inmates at prison for sex offenders

An English prison that specialises in holding and treating sex offenders has so many prisoners over the age of 50 that it has 26 teams competing in its bowls club, jail inspectors have revealed.<p>HMP Bure, near Norwich, is one of five specialist jails in England and Wales dedicated by the prison …

Charles Walker MP: 'Mental illness is not a weakness'

Mental health is slowly climbing up the political agenda after being "in a race with its legs tied together", according to Charles Walker, the Conservative MP for Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, and self-declared obsessive compulsive.<p>A keen advocate for ensuring those with mental illness have access to …

Universal Credit IT programme not fit for purpose, sources warn

The Department for Work and Pensions has spent hundreds of millions of pounds on software for its flagship welfare project that may not be fit for purpose, the Guardian has been told.<p>Hundreds of millions has been spent on software to support the government's flagship Universal Credit scheme, which …

The NHS has a vital role to play in end-of-life care services

My mum died last month. She was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer (possibly linked to asbestos exposure; she'd never smoked). She was given three months to live without treatment, possibly 12 months if she got strong enough for chemotherapy. She didn't.<p>"From then on, she …

Vladimir Putin: gay people are not discriminated against in Russia

Vladimir Putin has sought to ease concerns that Russia's new anti-gay law will be used to punish athletes who display rainbow flags during the Winter Olympics in Sochi.<p>The president insisted that gay people were not discriminated against in his country.<p>"I assure you that I work with these people, I …

Transparent rubber 'ionic' speaker paves the way for 'soft machines'

Researchers from the University of Harvard have demonstrated an ‘ionic’ speaker made from a thin sheet of rubber.<p>In a video released by the …

64-year-old woman becomes first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage

Diana Nyad, an endurance swimmer from New York, has become the first swimmer to make the 110 mile journey from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida …

US pushed to explain allegations of NSA spying on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

Mexico and Brazil have called for the United States to explain allegations that a US government spy agency may have intercepted the communications of …

Surveillance

No charges for Texas father who beat to death his daughter's rapist

A father in Texas who killed a man after discovering him molesting his five-year-old daughter will not be charged with his death, officials have …

Crime

Syria crisis: US and Israel test defence missiles over Mediterranean as House backs military intervention

A missile defence test carried out by the United States and Israel in the eastern Mediterranean today escalated tensions across the region and …

Pictures resurface showing US Secretary John Kerry and President Assad dining in Syria together

Pictures have re-emerged showing the US Secretary of State John Kerry dining with President Bashar al-Assad, as Mr Kerry continued to push for a …

Middle East

Syrian forensic expert defects to Turkey with 'evidence' of chemical attack as explosion on border kills six

A Syrian forensic medicine expert allegedly with evidence that President Bashar al-Assad’s administration was the responsible party for the chemical …

Syria crisis: First CIA-trained rebel unit about to join fighting against Assad regime, says President Obama

The first Syrian rebels to be trained by a CIA programme in Jordan are sneaking into the warzone and ready to strike back at the Assad regime, US …

Hoods off: When the Ku Klux Klan sat down with the NAACP

For a century or more, the two groups – one anti-racist; one explicitly racist – have been in fundamental opposition. Yet the National Association …

Rights & Freedoms

Andy McSmith's Diary: Does filibustering do anything for Parliament's reputation? Discuss at length

Filibustering is heroic, if you happen to agree with the person doing it. It takes obstinacy, verbal skill, and stamina.<p>The Texas Senator Wendy Davis …

Teach children about web porn, says Tory MP Claire Perry

An advisor to David Cameron says sex education in schools is out of tune with the modern age as it fails to combat children’s increasing exposure to …

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell's accuser denies lying over alleged abuse

A girl who says Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell raped her “on a regular basis”, faced tough cross examination from the television star’s …

Convicted rapist may have contracted HIV from his victim

A rapist who attacked a woman whilst she slept in her home is waiting to find out if he has contracted HIV from her.<p>Richard Thomas collapsed when he …

Syria crisis: David Cameron could make Commons plea to provide rebel forces with weapons

David Cameron has not ruled out returning to Parliament and asking for backing to arm or provide further support for Syrian rebels fighting the Assad …

Great Britain

Lobbying Bill threatens freedom of speech, warns electoral body

Charities and campaign groups could have their websites shut down and their meetings cancelled if they were suspected of breaching the Government’s …

Great Britain