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Children’s Commissioner for Wales calls for youth services support, 04/10/12 [W]

In his annual report, released on 4 October, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales has called for youth services to be valued and given strategic support at national and local levels.

Youth services are vital for young people at they offer support, opportunities and the chance to develop new skills. But some young people in Wales are finding it hard to access quality services locally. There are fears that financial pressures and shrinking budgets are pushing youth services down the priority list.

There is evidence that youth services provide good value for public money in the long term as they help young people to find jobs or training. Every young person not in education, employment or training costs around £97,000 over their lifetime, rising to £300,000 depending on the benefits they claim. Every £1 invested in youth work also generates £8 worth of voluntary activity, which in turn helps young people to contribute to society.

The Children’s Commissioner is asking for a national commitment to these services.

The annual report and accounts can be downloaded from www.childcomwales.org.uk or call 01792 765600 for a hard copy.