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The agenda for children, young people and families, 21/09/16 [W]

21 September 2016

Children in Wales’ Annual Round Table conference will inform policy makers and practitioners and cast a spotlight on the differing policy and practice themes that affect children, young people and families in Wales. It will provide a platform for discussion and delegates will consider the implementation of new legislation and dealing with the challenges ahead.

The conference is timely as if follows yesterday’s Welsh Government’s Programme for Government, Taking Wales Forward, which sets out its priorities for the next 5 years. Children in Wales would like to take this opportunity of welcoming the key priorities identified and we look forward to continuing to work with the Welsh Government to deliver a programme of work which the country needs and deserves.

Catriona Williams OBE said ‘we share the vision of a Wales that is ‘prosperous and secure, healthy and active, ambitious and learning, united and connected’. Children and young people have the greatest stake in our countries future, and we particularly welcome the commitments outlined which will help improve their, and their families, health, education, housing and future employment outcomes and prospects. Free childcare for eligible parents, more apprenticeships and affordable homes, improved access to preventative mental health services and talking therapies, alongside commitments to improve the life chances of looked after children, are all very welcome.

We are however, under no illusion of the significant challenges and barriers facing Wales in the years ahead. Successive and significant cuts to national and local budgets, the impact of austerity on some of our most vulnerable young people and families, and uncertainty following the EU referendum result have presented challenges which will have huge implications for children both now and in the future.

The recent recommendations from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, whilst showcasing some of the progress made, are a timely reminder of the enormous challenges ahead in realising a society where all children and young people have their rights met and have an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential.

We call upon the Welsh Government to ensure that every policy and legislative decision made from this point onwards helps to address the concerns of all children and young people in Wales. In order to adequately support children, young people and their families, especially those living in poverty or who are discriminated against, it is crucial that there are adequate resources in place. It is essential that during these times of financial austerity, that there is equitability in the distribution of resources and services for children and young people are not disproportionately cut.

The conference will hear from a range of contributors from both inside and outside government as well as representatives from Young Wales, Children in Wales’ national participation hub, who will share the work that has been taken forward so far, including the UK Youth Parliament, Youth Excellence Awards, Young Wales’ Project Board, and their visit to Geneva as part of the UNCRC reporting process.

The conference will also include round table discussions and a lunchtime exhibition area for delegates.

Contact:

To find out more or to arrange an interview, please contact catriona.williams@childreninwales.org.uk or sean.oneill@childreninwales.org.uk or phone 029 2034 2434.

Notes:

  1. Children in Wales is the national umbrella organisation for people who work with children and young people in Wales. Our core aim is to contribute towards making the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) a reality in Wales.
  2. The conference, Annual Round Table conference – “Taking forward the Agenda for Children, Young People & Families in Wales” will be held at the Mercure Holland House Hotel in Cardiff on 21 September 2016.
  3. Young Wales is the participation initiative being facilitated by Children in Wales. You can find out more at www.youngwales.wales or at @YoungWalesCIW on Twitter.