Children’s Commissioner’s concerns already a reality, 14/10/14 [W]
“We echo the Children’s Commissioners concerns regarding children’s services being vulnerable to funding cuts. As an example the six Local Authorities in North Wales have proposed a drastic reduction in funding for statutory children’s advocacy services which are vital in safeguarding and protecting some of the most vulnerable children and young people in society.
Independent Advocacy is an essential service which ensures that ‘looked after’ children have someone to turn to so that they can speak out to get things stopped, started or changed.
These cuts are happening in the shadow of Operation Pallial, the Macur Review and the current court cases regarding alleged sexual and physical abuse of children as young as seven years of age which occurred in eighteen care homes across North Wales.
The Advocacy Providers and other Children’s Charities including Voices from Care and Children in Wales believe that this situation is a sign that the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns are a growing reality and that some of the most vulnerable children and young people are being isolated and placed at further risk.
We urge Welsh Government and Local Authorities to work together to secure appropriate levels of funding so as to ensure that the statutory rights of vulnerable children are protected and that they are able to access advocacy services to support them in having their views, wishes and feelings heard when decisions are being made that affect their lives.
………………………………………. Ends ………………………………………….
Notes to the editor
Looked after children, Care Leavers and Children in Need have a statutory right to access an Independent Advocacy Service under the Children Act 1989.
Tros Gynnal Plant and NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) are the leading children and young people’s independent advocacy providers in Wales, providing statutory advocacy services to some of Wales’ most vulnerable children and young people ‘Looked After’ by Local authorities. Voices from Care is A National independent organisation that represents the views and opinions of Welsh looked after children and care leavers and Children in Wales is the national umbrella organisation for third sector, statutory, independent and professional organisations and individuals who work with children and young people in Wales. www.childreninwales.org.uk
For more information contact;
Jackie Murphy Executive Director Tros Gynnal Plant 029 2939 6974
Debbie Jones CEO Voices from Care 02920 451431
Sharon Lovell Director NYAS Cymru 0151 649 870
Catriona Williams OBE Chief Executive Children in Wales 02920 342434