Local authorities are being urged to fund play materials to help social workers build better relationships with children, after research found some staff are buying toys with their own money. According to researchers, fewer than 20 per cent of social work practitioners currently use play resources during their work with children. Academics claim that the materials are a “vital tool” for initiating contact and building trust. Sussex University’s professor of social work Gillian Ruch, one of the team members behind the Kitbag Campaign, acknowledged councils are cash-strapped, but suggested a relatively small outlay would bring bigger benefits. Read more.