Thursday, September 5, 2019

Stress: Causes, Definitions and Impacts

Stress: Causes, Definitions and Impacts Rosalina Das Definition â€Å"Stress is the trash of modern life-we all generate it but if you dont dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.†Ãƒ ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â‚¬ ¢Danzae Pace â€Å"a reaction of a particular individual to a stimulus event†. (Skinner, 1985) â€Å"stress may be viewed as the body’s response to any real or imagined event perceived as requiring some adaptive response and/or producing strain† (Elliot, 1988) â€Å"stress can be considered as any factor, acting internally or externally that makes it difficult to adapt and that induces increased effort on the part of the person to maintain a state of equilibrium both internally and with the external environment†. (Humphrey, 1992) â€Å"stress is caused by a multitude of demands (stressors), such as an inadequate fit between what we need and what we are capable of, and what our environment offers and what it demands of us†. (Levi, 1996) a particular relationship between the person and the environment that is appraised by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resources and endangering his or her well being. (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984) As can be inferred from the definitions above, there are three main ways to define stress. Firstly, we can define stress as a factor of stimuli a person is subjected to. The greater the pressure, the more will be the stress perceived. This takes into account the cumulative nature of stress. Secondly, stress can be defined as the response to aversive stimuli. This train of thought was publicised by Selye who also called the physiological changes that the body undergoes as a response to stimuli as the general adaptation syndrome (GAS). Stress is a usual human reaction to pressure when confronted with challenging situations. This pressure is not only about what is happening in our surrounding, but also about the demands that we place on ourselves. Stress is essentially a reply to a stimulus that interrupts our physical or mental equilibrium. A stressful event can trigger the â€Å"fight-or-flight† response which results in a sudden flow of hormones namely adrenaline and cortisol through the body. Stress is the â€Å"wear and tear† our bodies go through as we adjust to our continually changing environment. It has both physical and emotional results on us and can craft positive or negative feelings. Stress is not a medical condition, but severe stress that continues for a longer period of time may lead to a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, or other severe mental health problems. Causes of Stress Stress triggering events are different for different individuals. According to surveys, stress related to work contributes the highest percentage. In the united states, 40% workers admit to have stress caused due to their work and 25% blame work as the biggest cause of stress in their lives. In general, change in an existing situation of a human being causes stress. This is caused due to lack of control over the existing situation. The changes might be good or bad changes, but they might cause stress to a person. The few common causes of stress are: Job interview Examination New relationship/ Breaking up of old relationship Marriage Serious illness in oneself or a friend or family member Moving to a new place Death of friends or family/ Birth of a child Unemployment Insufficient resources to manage the family Caring for a disabled friend or family and many similar situations. This stress is causes as one has to re-adjust their life in accordance with the new phenomenon. The below diagram depicts the three major reasons of stress in college going students. Stress isn’t always caused by outside factors, sometimes it comes from inside. People can stress themselves by worrying about things. The internal factors causing stress are: Fear and uncertainty about events that are outside someone’s control. Worrying about such events can only cause stress, but not any improvement of the situation. Attitudes and perceptions of the world. A person’s point of view of events and situations can make a huge difference. The same situation may be perceived differently by different people and thus generate different level of stress. Unrealistic expectations. When expectations don’t match reality, it causes stress. The below graph shows the causes of stress in American citizens according to a survey. Types of stress All animals, including human beings have a natural stress response and it is very helpful. But severe stress can cause both physical and mental harm. There are various kinds of stress depending on its causes and effect. A little amount of stress, called â€Å"acute stress† is the most common form of stress. It could be tolerable, in fact it might be constructive in the sense that it keeps a person active and alert. It is usually for a short term of time. Also stress in long-term termed as â€Å"chronic stress,† can have major effect on both physical and mental health of a person. It often develops when a person loses hope of getting out of a bad situation and they stop giving effort to get out of it. â€Å"Episodic Stress† is the kind of stress that originates from a continuous exposure to mismanagement and crisis in life. This is usually found in type ‘A’ personalities as the are always in a hurry, but always late. Episodic stress is caused by constant worrying, pessimism, anxiousness and depression. â€Å"Traumatic stress† is the kind of stress caused by events threating one’s life. For example being in a major accident, involved in war, physically or mentally assaulted or having faced a natural disaster can causepost-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD). Symptoms of stress The signs of stress can show in various forms. Listed below are various signs of stress. Physical Signs of Stress Increased heartbeat Sweating/ freezing hands Headache Shallow or erratic breath Causing nausea, stomach upset Fatigue Disturbance in sleep Weight gain/loss Increased/decreased appetite, increased alcohol consumption Cognitive Signs of Stress Forgetfulness Being unmindful, Difficulty in concentrating Difficulty in understanding Negative self-assessment and negative self perception Emotional Signs of Stress Getting angry, irritated easily Anxiety, feelings of panic Fear Crying Increased conflicts in personal life Getting frustrated easily Impact of stress Stress is a major concern of the modern world. The below statistics depicts how it has impacted the human race. 43% percent of adults suffer from stress related health problems Stress related ailments contribute to 75%-90% of all doctor visits. Stress is declared as a hazard of the workplace by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared. More than $300 billion is spent annually to cope up with stress in the American industry. Untreated, chronic stress reactions can cause a lifetime prevalence of emotional disorder in more than 50% of people. In long term, stress can cause serious impact on our body. Skin.Stress causes various skin problems likeacneandpsoriasis. Muscles.Stress can cause neck,shoulder and lowback pain. It also worsensrheumatoid arthritis. Stomach.Stress causes and aggravates stomach problems like irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) ans peptic ulcerdisease. Heart.Stress causes coronary artery disease,heart attack, heart failure,high blood pressure, arrhythmia or erratic heartbeat,blood clotting and atherosclerosis or hardening of thearteries. Lungs.Patients having asthmaand chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are severely affected by stress. Reproductive system.Stress is found to have a impact in causing lowfertility, sexual problems in men, complexion duringpregnancy and painful menstrual periods etc. Immune system.Constant stress adversely affects the human immune system. This impacts even more for persons having chronic illness like AIDS. Stress can worsen the situation of such patients. Panic Attack. Apanic attackis a sudden, intense fear or anxiety that may make a person feel short of breath, dizzy or makes the heart pound very fast. Stress can cause panic attacks. Stress Management Stress managementrefers to the verity of medical andpsychotherapiestechniques which helps in controlling a patient’s stress levels. The treatment may be there for chronic stress or episodic Stress or traumatic stress. Managing stress is all about taking charge. If one controls one’s thoughts, emotions, schedule, and the way one deals with problems, then they can overpower stress. Step #1: Identifying the source of stress The first step to manage stress is to identify the sources of stress in one’s life. The sources are not always evident and most of the times it is hard to find the real source. This might because we are well acquainted with our way of life and it’s hard to point out what is wrong with it. It is important to find the root cause of stress because that is the key to treat it. Step #2: Change the situation We should try to avoid the situation that is causing stress. If the situation is unavoidable, then we must try to alter it. Figuring out the key points to bring about a change in the current situation helps in dealing with stress. This might involve changing few things like communication, relationship or any other way of life. But this change has to be ensured so that it can lead to a less stressful situation. Step #3: Adapt to the change It is hard to adapt to any change. But we must ensure that changing the life style doesn’t result in more stress. Also it is advisable to cope up with the changes made as soon as possible. We can adopt to stressful conditions and also regain our sense of control by modifying our attitude and perception. Step #4: Avoid further unnecessary stress Stress can’t be always avoided. But we should make a conscious effort to keep it at bay. Isolating situations which causes unnecessary stress can help. Situations which might cause this kind of unnecessary stress could be eliminated in advance. We should just make sure that the peace of mind should be preserved at all cost. Step #5: Time Management Stress can be avoided by proper usage of time. Dividing up your work into small segments of doable chunks and dedicating proper amount of time to all activities in a day can reduce the stress in work environment. One should dedicate some buffer time for unexpected activities so that in case of any emergency, the time table is not shattered. Step# 6 Meditation and breathing exercises When stress takes over, the sympathetic ANS pumps adrenaline and other hormones into the body to prepare it for action. Usually, the parasympathetic ANS eventually takes over and calms the body down. You can help the parasympathetic ANS take over by practicing meditation and breathing exercises. Combine meditation and breathing into one exercise by doing the following: Sit down comfortably and close your eyes. Begin taking slow, measured breaths. Take note of where in your body the breaths originate. After a while, let your body breathe entirely on its own while still focusing on the breath. Notice which parts of the body your breathing moves: From your hands and feet to the top of your head. If you begin to think about anything other than breathing, set your concentration back on those breaths and how they affect your body Simple things can lead to relieve stress. For example talking to a trusted person (friends or family), calling up someone and have a friendly chat, talking to experts via phone helpline or internet, exercising, taking deep breaths, eating a healthy diet, taking a vacation, time management etc. Conclusion As can be inferred from the definitions above, there are three main ways to define stress. Firstly, we can define stress as a factor of stimuli a person is subjected to. The greater the pressure, the more will be the stress perceived. This takes into account the cumulative nature of stress. Secondly, stress can be defined as the response to aversive stimuli. This train of thought was publicised by Selye who also called the physiological changes that the body undergoes as a response to stimuli as the general adaptation syndrome (GAS). Stress is a usual human reaction to pressure when confronted with challenging situations. This pressure is not only about what is happening in our surrounding, but also about the demands that we place on ourselves. Job traits and Hackman Oldham model Motivation and job satisfaction is important. Factors like job satisfaction, job expansion, job turnover, job enrichment, etc. should be ensured to ensure the minimal level of stress occurring at workplaces. Hackman Oldham job traits model present in their paper have selected to study the impacts of job traits on job stress. In their study on a telecommunication company, Richard Hackman and Edward Lowler (1971) concluded that employees’ job satisfaction is higher and their performance and attendance in workplace is better when they feel traits like skill diversity, task nature, independence and engaging with other further in their job. This study paved the ground for Hackman and Oldham job traits model in 1975. Through a research, they found that employees’ job satisfaction and performance increase and their turnover and absenteeism decrease when they enjoy high levels of job traits such as skill diversity, job nature, task importan ce, independence and job feedback. Hackman and Oldham job traits model consists of three parts: (1) job major aspects including skill diversity, job nature, task importance, independence and job feedback; (2) mental conditions including the feeling of having an important job, accountability, being informed of job results; and (3) working and individual ramifications including promoting inner motivation on job qualitative performance improvement, job satisfaction promotion and mitigating job relinquish. Stress is part of life and sometimes unavoidable. Sometimes a little amount of stress is helpful too. It is only when stress lasts for a longer period of time and exceeds one’s capability of handling it, stress becomes harmful. Stress impacts one’s physical and mental health, relationship, family, work environment and one’s whole life. But stress can be handled. Instead of stress manipulating one’s life, one can learn to manipulate the stress by oneself. By enhancing one’s vision, raising the available resources regarding stress, one can cope up with stress. It is important to know one’s strength and limits regarding handling stress. It is always advisable to take external help if needed to cope with the anxiety and stress in one’s life. Useful contacts Emotional / Relationships Problems 1. Aasra, Mumbai Direct crisis intervention and counselling services for people who are depressed or feeling suicidal. Phone:+91 22 2754 6669 Timings:All Days :24 Hours Email:[emailprotected] Depression, anxiety, obsession and mental health Rethink Mental Illness Support and advice for people living with mental illness. Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm) Depression Alliance Charity for sufferers of depression. Has a network of self-help groups. CALM CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15-35. Contact the Stress Counselling helpline Talk in confidence, 24 hours a day. Call:0800 092 3189 Useful books The Relaxation Stress Reduction Workbookby Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, Matthew McKay Publishers New Harbinger Publications: ISBN 1572242140 The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook By Edmund J. Bourne The Feeling Good Handbook By David D. Burns,David D. Burns (Preface by) References,217650,en.pdf Every Child Matters Policy: Outcomes, Aims and Application Every Child Matters Policy: Outcomes, Aims and Application Are the objectives of the Every Child Matters policy set by the government being met in actual use and practice? Contents (Jump to) Abstract Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 – Method Chapter 3 – Results 3.1 Every Child Matters Green Paper 3.2 Childrens Act 2004 3.3 Children’s Trusts   3.4 Every Child Matters: Change for Children   Chapter 4 Discussion Chapter 5 – Conclusion   Tables – Diagrams Bibliography   Abstract In September of 2003 the policy initiative â€Å"Every Child Matters† was presented to Parliament, sparked by the death in 2000 of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie, who was a victim of child abuse, and murder by her aunt Marie-Therese Kouao, and bus driver Carl Manning (BBC New, 2005). The striking as well as earth shaking factor in this tragic instance is the very strong possibility exists that Victoria’s suffering, and death could very well have been prevented. While it is impossible to predict what might have happened, the official inquiry into this case as headed by Lord Laming, investigated every facet, including the child protection system (BBC News, 2003). The preceding uncovered that there were at least twelve incidences whereby the system failed Victoria Climbie in terms of her welfare. Most noteworthy, in terms of the system becoming alerted to the potential of child abuse and or problems, were the child’s two visits for injuries to the hospital, the sec ond, which entailed a two-week stay (BBC News, 2003). The horrific summary just provided does not do justice to the details contained within this case that outraged the public as well as authorities. The Laming Report uncovered that information sharing between agencies failed to take the necessary and required steps to intercede (The Victoria Climbie Inquiry, 2003). The Inquiry resulted in the recommendation of a structure that would eliminate the potential for ambiguity in the decision making process for children and families (The Victoria Climbie Inquiry, 2003). This examination of child care policies shall analyze if the resulting Every Child Matters policies are meeting the purpose for which they were developed and devised. Chapter 1 – Introduction The death of Victoria Climbie resulted in an Inquiry conducted by Lord Laming to investigate the childcare system and make recommendations based upon the findings. In keeping with the aforementioned, the Inquiry Report recommended the following changes as well as inputs to the system (The Victoria Climbie Inquiry, 2003): Elimination of what the Inquiry termed as â€Å"buck passing†, through guidance procedures, Implementation of a coherent set of practices, policies, protocols and strategies for service delivery, Placement of the preceding into statues that define a clear process for monitoring as well as decision making of performance and follow up, Reduction of what the Inquiry called the ‘gap’ between the intention of the agencies, and the achievement as demonstrated by actual performance, eliminating the unpredictable facets of service delivery though the improvement of efficiency as well as effectiveness, Addressing the preventive aspects with families and increasing the support invention process that has deteriorated through proper funding and staffing, Understanding that the protection as well as support of children calls for a broader scope than just the statutory agencies. The process needs to include close association with community-based groups to broaden the scope of involvement, information, alerts and resources. A change in the manner that the agencies approach, see and work, as represented by the utilisation of their resources. The preceding calls for all agencies to carry out their part of the process, with a clear delineation to staffing of their primary responsibilities to children and families. The recommendations in these areas consisted of the following: Services must be child as well as family oriented, Be responsive to needs and opportunities, Services must have adequate resources, Be capable to delivering measurable national outcomes with regard to children, Be clear in terms of accountability throughout the agencies and organisation, Be transparent in its work processes and open to detailed scrutiny, Services, procedures, guidelines, protocols and policies must be clear as well as straightforward in terms of being understood, Services need to be placed on a statutory foundation, given the powers to ensure delivery of the outcomes desired. To achieve the aforementioned ends, the Inquiry set forth structure changes that recommended major changes within the structures that deliver services to children and families (The Victoria Climbie Inquiry, 2003). It also identified that a key weakness in the system were the circumstances under which case reviews were conducted, adding that the that structure needs to be replaced by one that is more comprehensive as well as active (The Victoria Climbie Inquiry, 2003). Another critical aspect in the problems uncovered by the Inquiry was the referral and response levels of the agencies. The Inquiry made specific reference to sections 17 and 47 of the Children Act 1989 whereby (The Victoria Climbie Inquiry, 2003): Section 17 The segment of the Children Act 1989 places the responsibility as well as duty on the local authority for the safeguarding and promotion of welfare for children that are in need in their area. Section 47 The section of the Children Act 1989 calls for the local authority to make inquiries in instances where it is believed and or thought necessary whereby a child is suspected of being exposed to harm. The problem with the preceding, especially Section 47, is that the Inquiry found that considerable confusion existed as to what inquiries should be made, with permission from the child’s carer required before other invention measures could be introduced if the preceding was refused (The Victoria Climbie Inquiry, 2003). Under Section 17, the social services could respond only when exceptional circumstances dictated, after permission as outline above had been obtained (The Victoria Climbie Inquiry, 2003). Furthermore, it was found that once the Section 17 designation assigned a label to a case, it was downgraded in terms of status and frequently poor follow up ensued (The Victoria Climbie Inquiry, 2003). The aforementioned aspects were brought forth in order to have a basis for understanding the reasons and dynamics of the recommendations of the Victoria Climbie Inquiry (2003), the resulting policies, and performance since enactment. This examination shall investigate how the objectives of the Every Child Matters policy is being met through the use of council and agency support. This document is structured to present the methodology utilised, followed by the results of the research process, which is then discussed to determine the significance of the findings, and the implications. A conclusion has been utilised to summarise the examination, drawing upon the information and research uncovered to formulate what the preceding uncovered. Chapter 2 – Methods The methodology utilised in this examination entails a combination of evidence based research techniques and quantitative research. The term research in this examination represents a systematic inquiry â€Å"characterized by sets of principles, guidelines for procedures and which is subject to evaluation in terms of criteria such as validity, reliability and representativeness† (Hitchcock and Hughes, 1995, p. 5). In the context of this paper, social research represents â€Å"the collection and analysis of information on the social world, in order to understand and explain that world better† (Hitchcock and Hughes, 1995, p. 5). Key to the preceding process is the collection of evidence to support the research process, which requires much fuller information to fulfill its directive (Evans, 2006). The foregoing calls for a strong design in the research process to generate the evidence base (Potter, 2007). The foregoing was accomplished by reviewing the legislation as well a s historical development of the Every Child Matters initiative, starting with the reasons that prompted its development. Quantitative research represented conducting the gathering of information systematically, looking for relationships in the examination in the context of the study. Newman and Benz (1998, p. 2) tell us that â€Å"Most quantitative research approaches, regardless of their theoretical differences, tend to emphasize that there is a common reality on which people can agree.† With that underpinning, this examination strived to look for a clear delineation of facts that would closely approximate the preceding statement. To this end, surveys and studies were used as a basis for correlating facts, combined with the key purposes behind varied legislation. This look into the programmes that have led up to and are part of the â€Å"Every Child Matters† initiative shall utilise evidence based practice to uncover the facts, assess what has been gathered, and critically appraise the process and strategies in their present state. Chapter 3 – Results 3.1 Every Child Matters Green Paper The †Every Child Matters† Green Paper ( , 2003), contains four main proposal areas that were devised in response to the recommendations as made under Lord Laming’s Inquiry Report concerning the death of Victoria Climbie. These four key areas are (, 2003): support of parents and carers, early intervention, along with effective protection, accountability and integration, reform of the workforce To aid in achieving the preceding, the Green Paper recommended a ‘Parenting Fund’ of  £25 million to be added for a three-year period to underwrite the changes (, 2003). The critical aspect as identified under the Victoria Climbie Inquiry (2003) was early intervention, which the Green Paper advised represented improving the information sharing between agencies and authorities, the utilisation of a singular and unique identification number so that all information would fall under the same file, and the development of a common data network that is coordinated among all authorities and agencies to ensure that all information resides in one file database (, 2003). Governmental changes as identified under the Green Paper called for the creation of a Director of Children’s Services to deliver education to local authorities and children’s social services as well as the position of the Minister for Children, Young People an d Families in the Department of Education and Skills that would have the responsibility for coordination of policies across all agencies and authorities (, 2003). 3.2 Children Act 2004 The Children Act 2004 put into place the legislative foundation to enable the policy changes as put forth under the Every Child Matters Green Paper (, 2004). The objective was the maximisation of opportunities, along with minimising risk for children and young people via the leadership of the Director of Children’s Services within the local authorities (Brachnell Forest Borough Council, 2007). The Children Act 2004 advises that the total number of children in the program has remained fairly consistent over the past ten years, with only minor upward and downward fluctuations (Department for Education and Skills, 2004). The Children Act 2004 was enacted on 15 November 2004 and established (Department for Education and Skills, 2004): A Children’s Commissioner whose responsibility is to champion the interests and views regarding children as well as young people. Makes it the duty of Local Authorities to co-operate with other Local Authorities as well as agencies and bodies to improve the well being of children through information sharing and other forms of cooperation. Made it the duty of Local Authorities to implement local Safeguarding Children Boards that include key partners to participate. The provision for databases that contain information that enables better sharing capabilities between all authorities, agencies and other bodies. The development of an integrated inspection framework, along with Joint Area reviews to provide an assessment on progress The important facets of the preceding changes and modifications to the Children Act 1989 is that it set forth the following (Department for Education and Skills, 2004): Duty to Cooperate The Children Act 2004 under section 10 sets forth the duty for local authorities and agencies to cooperate with the guidance under the Act, thus representing the authority as well as framework for children’s trusts. Guidance on the Children and Young People’s Plan Under section 17, it contains the key facet regarding the implementation of children’s trusts via a strategic plan for local authorities and allied services, partners and agencies. Guidance with respect to the roles as well as responsibilities of the Director of Children’s Services with regard to the Lead Member of Children’s Services. Guidance on Working Together with the objective to Safeguard Children. Guidance under section 11, on the Duty to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children The preceding aspects were actualised under the Children Act 2004 through a national framework for change that specifies areas, working inwards to achieve targeted timetables as shown below: 3.3 Children’s Trusts Children’s Trusts represents the framework whereby all services for children and young people are brought together in an area, supported by the Children Act 2004 (, 2007a). The central foundation of the Children’s Trusts is that they represent the active core of support for those who work daily with children, young people as well as families, with the objective being the delivery of improved outcomes via more integrated as well as responsive services (, 2007a). The integrated strategy utilises the following methodology for effective results and working processes (, 2007a): the use of a joint needs assessment, sharing decisions on priorities, the identification of the resources available, and the devising of a set of joint plans to deploy the preceding. The critical aspect of the foregoing is the joint commissioning that pools resources to deploy the best outcome by directing action to those resources and the people best qualified to complete the services (, 2007a). In March of 2007 a national evaluation of the Children’s Trust Pathfinders was conducted that took in all 35 units and included a number of evaluative reports conducted on various segments of the program (, 2007b). The evaluation resulted in a number of recommendations that identified shortcomings and limitations in the delivery of services (national children’s bureau, 2006): The evaluation stated that a clarification is needed regarding exactly what the term participation means as there were different interpretations uncovered in the analysis. The approach procedures concerning participation were determined to be less than effective in terms of being systematic. To move participation beyond listening to active engagement that involves users. The development of support systems to enables the end users, children – young people – families, to fully participate as well as engaging them in a strategic manner. To see that participation utilises a broad range of differing and diverse methodologies to solicit as well as gain the views of children, young people and families. Recognition that the community as well as voluntary sectors have important roles and have users that have difficulty interacting with official bodies. Take the time, along with the commitment to construct as well as improve the infrastructure needed for effective participation by end users. The study of user participation that entailed case studies in eight children’s trusts, along with three additional sites involved 107 professionals from management as well as differing levels in education, health, social care as well as local authorities (national children’s bureau, 2006). The perception of professionals was positive in terms of the increased engagement with users, children, young people and families, commenting that it helped to raise their self esteem as a result of being part of the process (national children’s bureau, 2006). User perceptions among those surveyed indicated a lack of participation, and or limited experience, also commenting that there was a lack of information regarding this aspect (national children’s bureau, 2006). The users cited that they would be interested in participatory engagement, as long as it was meaningful, as opposed to being tokenistic, and if such participation actually resulted in change (national childr en’s bureau, 2006). In addition to the preceding, the surveyed users indicated that feedback in terms of important issues as to where they were, and the actions being taken, and or the outcomes would be useful in transparency (national children’s bureau, 2006). The survey participants also indicated that they felt more involvement would improve relationships. Those surveyed added that they felt that listening was not a culture trait in the country, thus participation was not, in their opinion, a positive process unless they could see results based upon a broad feedback from issues they participated in, as well as those of other users (national children’s bureau, 2006). The users surveyed also added that they felt that participation was not really representative, voicing the opinion that the same people were asked about their views and opinions repeatedly, as opposed to the process seeking out more individuals to participate (national children’s bureau, 2006). The methodology, in terms of gathering opinions was also questioned, in that the field of reach could be widened through the utilisation of questionnaires as well as discussion groups (national children’s bureau, 2006). It was suggested that such measures should be advertised broadly, and utilise a wide variety of measures in order to make the process participato ry as opposed to being selection based (national children’s bureau, 2006). The manner in which the overall process operates, is designed and performs was also raised. Users, community and volunteer groups indicated that this represented a key area as the process is supposed to represent one of inclusion, thus, their inputs in these areas should be consulted (national children’s bureau, 2006). One specific example was the drafting of questionnaires. Users felt that they should be included in the process to design the questions that would appear on questionnaires as well as assist in the discussion panel formulations to make the process truly participatory (national children’s bureau, 2006). The preceding represent limitations that users felt did not involve them in the overall process that was designed to aid and benefit them. The foregoing factors represent clear indications that users want to as well as should be a more active part of the process. Their views indicated that they desired to be included in the developmental phases as opposed to being interview subjects, and felt that they should have a deeper, and more meaning participation level as members of the public, especially as members of the public for whom the services are targeted. Strategic involvement represents an important issue in that it engages users and provides inputs that the overall process can utilise in modifying and improving service delivery as well as the notification process on the part of the public as to potential abuse issues. The foregoing view is brought forth by Petr (2004, p. 79) who points to the importance of the inclusion of parents and users in the process as a means to heighten participation. The foregoing approach is also espoused by Northridge et al (2005), who state research partnerships should be an inclusive pro cess that involves participants and community agencies in the process. Boyden and Ennew (1997) also advocate the importance of users in the participation process in terms of taking part and being involved, as well as the benefits of gaining insights from their inputs. The study concluded that users want greater participation in the process, and that a variety of methods and approaches need to be utilised to obtain the views, ideas, input and concerns (national children’s bureau, 2006). It also recommended that a broad variety of methods should be utilised and exploited in order to obtain the views of users as well as their recommendations and suggestions, providing more transparency in the processing and outcome of the aforementioned to make the system more effective and user, community based (national children’s bureau, 2006). 3.4 Every Child Matters: Change for Children â€Å"Every Child Matters: Change for Children† (HM Government, 2004) represented the national framework to improve outcomes for children as well as young people (Brachnell Forest Borough Council, 2007). The policy indicates that it is committed to seeing that five key outcomes are achieved that are important to a child’s well being, these represent â€Å"†¦ being healthy; staying safe; enjoying and achieving; making a positive contribution, and achieving economic well being †¦ (HM Government, 2004). The initiative sets forth key objectives and targets with regard to the underpinning of the entire framework of children’s services. The foregoing are represented by the following (HM Government, 2004). : The improvement as well as the integration of all services, covering a child’s early years, in the schooling environment, along with health services. To provide more specialised help to prevent problems, promote opportunities, and most importantly to act early as well as effectively in the event that problems arise. To reconfigure services so that they revolve around the child and family under children’s centres, extended schools, and through professionals engaged in multi disciplinary teams. To develop and have engaging as well as dedicated leadership throughout all levels of the system. The development of an atmosphere of shared responsibility throughout the system and across system lines that focuses upon the safeguarding of children, as well as protection from harm. To heighten the listen atmosphere, centring on children, young people and families in the assessment processes, along with planning facets, and especially in face-to-face encounters. The preceding bear strong similarity to the recommendations and findings as set forth under the study conduced by the National Children’s Bureau (2006), which pointed out that these lofty objectives have not fully been met. The five outcomes as represented by â€Å"†¦ being healthy; staying safe; enjoying and achieving; making a positive contribution, and achieving economic well being †¦Ã¢â‚¬  (HM Government, 2004), upon deeper examination entail the following: Be Healthy physical health emotional and mental health sexual health lifestyles that are healthy the election not to partake of illegal drugs and that carers as well as families actively promote healthy choices Stay Safe safety from maltreatment, violence, neglect and exploitation sexually safety from accidental injury as well as death safety from bullying and discrimination safety from criminal activities, crime and anti social behaviour that security and stability are seen to Enjoy and achieve that children and young people are ready for school that children and young people attend school that they achieve social as well as personal development and have recreational activities they enjoy Make a positive contribution that children, young people and families are engaged in decision making as well as support their communities that children, and young people engage in behaviour that I law abiding, both in an out of school that they develop self-confidence that they develop behaviour that is enterprising Achieve economic well-being that young people engage in higher education, training and or employment that young people are prepared and ready to be employed that children and young people live in homes that are decent in sustainable communities that they have access to transport and that they live in households free of low income All of the preceding have been set as objectives to foster the development of children and young people through adulthood as well as address the tragic situation as brought forth by the Victoria Climbe situation. In order to attain the foregoing, local children’s services under the Children Act 2004 are held accountable for the deliverance of improved outcomes via inspection (HM Government, 2004). The preceding is to be accomplished by (, 2007c): Robust and active inter-agency accountability and governance The â€Å"local authority director of children’s services† establishment of cooperative arrangements with like service units and local authorities (, 2007c). The partners in this arrangement include entities from the â€Å"public, private, voluntary and community† sectors (, 2007c). Area child protection committees are replaced by local safeguarding children boards Under the foregoing â€Å"Every Child Matters: Change for Children† (HM Government, 2004), the integrated strategy represents the following elements (, 2007c): The joint assessment of the local needs that involve users. The utilisation of a singular plan that is shared between all children’s service units. The pooling of budgets. The use of joint area reviews for the inspection of children’s services on the local level. Integrated frontline service delivery to improve user outcomes at the strategic level. In terms of integrated processes, â€Å"Every Child Matters: Change for Children† (HM Government, 2004) calls for (, 2007d): The use of â€Å"new common initial assessment† frameworks to â€Å"reduce duplication and improve referrals† (, 2007d). Improved information sharing. The re-engineering of â€Å"local processes and procedures †¦ to support integration around the needs of children. The integrated frontline delivery represents the manner via which the foregoing is accomplished within the overall framework (, 2007e): â€Å"Integrated, accessible and personalised services â€Å" represent the manner via which the preceding will be approached, building the processes â€Å"around the needs of children and young people† as opposed to service, and or professional boundaries (, 2007e). The shift of focus to prevention as well as safeguarding. Services to be co-located in locations such as children’s centres as well as extended schools. The reform of workforces to result in staffs that are well trained, with the credo that children are the focal point, understanding that their needs are uppermost. The â€Å"development of multi-disciplinary teams† along with professionals. The strategy representing the improvement of outcomes is founded upon â€Å"changing the behaviour of those working with the users via more integrated as well as responsive service delivery (, 2007e). The foregoing calls for the use of specialist support that is embedded throughout the system, and which can be accessed by all service units (, 2007e). The key to the process is in workforce reform in terms of attitudes, trained staff, the internal development of common skill sets and knowledge base, utilising the element of trust as well as information sharing (, 2007e). Chapter 4 – Discussion In equating the results achieved under the programmes established for Every Child Matters the Department for Children, Schools and Families published a report equating evidence in support of the plan (2007). The Report assessed the achievements as well as shortcomings and limitations of progress thus far as achieved: Table 1 – Results Findings – Every Child Matter Be Healthy (Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2007) Table 2 – Results Findings – Every Child Matter/Stay Safe (Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2007) Stay Safe < UK Iron and Steel Industry: Market Trends UK Iron and Steel Industry: Market Trends Basic Iron and steel in UK – Analysis Headlines UK’s basic iron and steel market contracted by 6.8% to  £10.6 billion in 2013 as prices of steel declined due to the overcapacity in steel production Industry of structural metal products increased its purchase of steel due to the growing private housing sector in UK in 2013 Motor vehicles, trailer and semi-trailers decreased their share of purchases in the industry by 12% as it is substituted with aluminium in pursue of lower CO2 emissions In 2013 EU Commission creates Communication Action Plan for a development of competitive and sustainable steel industry in Europe Basic iron and steel industry is expected to continue falling by 2% in 2014 due to oversupply in UK steel production and iron ore mining globally MArket Trends Basic iron and steel market in the UK declined by 6.8% to  £10.7 billion in 2013. Although the main buyer in the industry – structural metal products increased its share of purchases over the year, the industry still felt the pressure from overcapacity and declining prices of steel in Europe. Structural metal products producers were the key buyer in the basic iron and steel industry accounting for 18% of the B2B purchases which stood at  £1.9 billion in 2013. The share increased usage in construction sector which was boosted by the rapidly growing private housing segment and overall construction output in the UK. Private Housebuilding was driven by the government’s deposit guarantee programme Help to Buy designed for purchases of new homes in the UK. Motor vehicles, trailer and semi-trailers accounted for 12% of the purchases in the industry. Despite a 1.3% increase in number of vehicles manufactured, acquisitions of basic iron and steel declined by 12%. Demand of steel from automotive industry is declining due to increasing use of aluminium. Vehicle manufacturers are reducing vehicle weight in order to cut CO2 emissions in order to comply with new EU standards. Basic iron, steel and ferroalloys accounted for 46% of the market size in the industry in 2013. After experiencing a 2% decrease its market value stood at  £4.9 billion. The decline was determined by the decreasing prices of steel products. HRC Europe steel prices declined by 6.4% in 2013 due to oversupply of steel in the global market. As well as global steel market, the European market has been confronting a growing overcapacity of steel production and declining demand over the recent years. To address the issues of struggling EU market of iron and steel industry, an EU-wide plan named Commission Communication Action Plan for a sustainable and competitive steel industry in Europe was created on June, 2013. Currently, the plan is offering to reduce or remove electricity feed-in tariffs related to renewable electricity on energy-intensive industries to make them more competitive internationally. In 2013 import penetration fell by 9% and accounted for 65% of the market size reaching value of  £5.8 billion. The imports decreased due to the overcapacity in the global steel production and restart of Teesside steel plant which increased the output of steel in the country in 2013. Currently active antidumping duties on Chinese wire rods are about to expire. In April, 2014 European steel association Eurofer inquired for an over 20% anti-dumping charge for Chinese wire rod in order to protect EU producers. The new query will prolong the duty by approximately 15 months until the answer is given. production Trends Overcapacity has been pressuring UK’s as well as the global iron and steel market. Production capacity of steel increased by 118 million tonnes over the last two years and is expected to total in 2,2 billion tonnes in 2014. However, UK’s production decreased only by marginal 1% over 2013. Though different segments managed to grow as e.g. production of basic iron, steel and ferroalloys recorded a 2% increase and accounted for 62% of total industry’s production. While the industry has marginally declined some companies managed to increase their production. E.g. Teesside Steel Co owned by Thailand SSI renewed its production in the UK in 2013. In addition, during the same year Teesside Steel Co recorded its production record in Red car plant after expanding its production capacity. The steel output in the industry was also supported by improvements of the Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant. Its blast furnace was rebuilt increasing steel production over the same year. Recycling of metal waste and scrap industry accounts for 16% of basic ferrous and non-ferrous industry costs in UK. Approximately 13 million tons of scrap metal are being processed by steel industry annually. Recycling is important to UK producers as it allows to keep emissions, energy consumption and total costs at bay in comparison to steel production from ore. Mining of metal ores made 12% of total costs in UK during 2013. Despite an increase in production of basic iron and steel at constant price of 1.2% , costs related to mining of metal ores declined by 1%. Decrease in metal ore costs was driven by decline in price of iron ore in second half of the year as global production of iron ore grew by 5% accounting for approximately 2 billion tonnes in 2013. Exports of basic iron and steel accounted for 65% of total production and recorded a 0.7% growth in 2013. Exports were driven by the growing demand from emerging economies such as Turkey which accounted for 11% of the UK’s exports. Growing Turkish construction and transportation expenditures positively affected the demand for UK’s production. Steel, basic iron and ferroalloys experienced a 2% increase in the share of industry’s exports. 2013 profits almost doubled which left them standing at  £783 million. The industry benefited from a 7% decrease in its costs which had positively reflected on the profits. Competitive Landscape The top 5 companies in the basic iron and steel industry accounted for 20% of total production in the UK in 2013. The leader with 14% was Tata Steel UK Ltd. The company was followed by other industry’s players accounting for a less significant share of production: Caparo Steel Products Ltd (2%), Hill Smith Holdings Plc (2%), and Thamesteel Ltd (1%). Tata Steel UK Ltd a subsidiary of the Tata Steel Europe is a UK-based company that specializes in production of basic iron and steel. It has 3 plants located in the UK with 18,000 employees. In October, 2013 the company announced it will build Vacuum Induction Melting (VIM) furnace at its Stocksbridge site in South Yorkshire, UK. It has also increased its steel output from Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant due to the reconstuction of its blast furnace. The development had a significant impact on growing steel production in the UK in 2013. By 2016 the company is planning on investing  £400 million in long products business. However, due to the sluggish demand in the market Tata Steel has been considering selling parts of its operation in the UK due to the underutilization. Caparo Steel Products Ltd of Caparo Group is a company located in the UK that specializes in production of basic iron and steel. The company is based in London, UK, with additional locations in the UK, India, Spain, Poland, North America, Canada, and Dubai. Caparo Steel has 1,000 employees in the UK. In October, 2014 the group announced plans to invest â‚ ¬4 million in its UK and Polish operations. The company has been reviewing its operations in UK and announced plans to consolidate its production in one site considering to close the wire company in Wrexham, UK. However, workers are expected to keep their jobs as company anticipates using the other base for testing technologies and steel distribution. Hill Smith Holdings Plc is a company that produces galvanized iron and steel. It operates under the following segments: Infrastructure Products, Galvanizing Services, Building and Construction Products and employs over 700 workers. The company has also upgraded its plant in Chesterfield, UK. In general, production volumes of steel products increased by 18% in 2013 due to the the expansion into emerging markets. On April, 2013 the group acquired a large plant in Kent, UK operated by Medway Galvanising Co Ltd. In addition, Hill Smith Holdingd acquired trade and specific assets of Arkinstall Galvanizing Ltd. Thamesteel Ltd is a UK-based subsidiary of Al-Tuwairqi Holding. The company specializes in steel manufacturing and operates a 50 acre site in Sheerness, on the Isle of Sheppey, UK and employs 400 workers. The plant went into administration in 2012 it became the property of Al-Tuwairqi Group. However, the new negotiations have been taking place in 2013 to reopen a rolling mill using imported steel billets and then exporting its production again. New mill is expected to employ around 120 workers; however, the plan is still in state of negotiations. Prospects Basic iron and steel industry in UK is expected to further decline by 2% in 2014 and over the period of 2013-2019 the industry is anticipated to record a negative 1% CAGR. Drawing of iron and steel is expected to record an 11% drop in turnover due to the continuing surplus in the industry and slumping demand. Average global iron ore price in 2014 is expected to decline approximately 49% in 2013 translating into further decreasing costs for the industry. It is not expected for global iron ore price to return to US$100 level for near future as world production output is going to further increase at faster pace than demand. By 2018 global iron-ore surplus is expected to reach 300 million tons. UK’s market of steel is expected to remain weak over the forecast period due to the overcapacity of steel production in UK and globally. As a result production of basic iron, steel and ferroalloys is anticipated to experience slowdown in its CAGR. Due to prolonged decline in production of steel in Europe, steel industry is expected to become one of the main focuses by EU Commission over the forecast period. Reduction and restructuration of capacity in the industry will also play a significant role as EU Commission is aiming at reaching the contribution of steel market towards EU GDP to increase from current 15% to 20% by 2020. The industry is expected to be less pressured by the prices of power and gas as the Government has announced its prediction of wholesale prices to remain fairly steady until 2020 when electricity price is expected to reach  £54 per MWh. However, latter prices are expected to challenge the competitiveness of electricity from wind farms and nuclear plants further.

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