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New post will help protect vulnerable refugee and asylum seeking children in Wales, 08/04/08 [W]

Refugee and asylum seeking children in Wales are to benefit from increased levels of protection through the work of a new development officer at Children in Wales. Vulnerable children arriving in Wales from across the world may have difficulties in communicating their needs, understanding their rights and may be severely traumatised from experiences within their country of birth.  Some may find themselves in private fostering arrangements, which are not registered with social services.  Others may be particularly vulnerable to certain forms of abuse including child trafficking, forced marriage and sexual exploitation

The new worker will provide specialist knowledge in this area and will help increase understanding of the child protection issues amongst the different agencies who will work directly with these children.  They will enable children and young people to have a better level of protection so that they can articulate their rights more easily in relation to their own safety.  The post is to be managed jointly by Children in Wales and the Welsh Refugee Council.

Sean O’Neill, Policy Director at Children in Wales said,

” Not only will this post help seek to raise awareness of the child protection issues amongst professionals working within refugee organisations across Wales, but also improve child protection practice more generally”

“Children in Wales has a well-established programme of policy work in child protection and asylum issues, and working in partnership with the Welsh Refugee Council, this new post will help underpin our primary aim of ensuring that all children have the right to be protected from abuse, harm and neglect”.

Notes:

1.  The Development Officer: Child Protection Policy and Advice is a new post managed jointly by Children in Wales and the Welsh Refugee Council.  It has been funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

2.  Children in Wales was established in March 1992 and became a registered charity in 1993.  It aims to promote the interests of children, to improve services in Wales and to put children high on the Welsh agenda.  We work closely with our members who comprise professionals, policy makers and consumer groups to improve the lives of all children living in Wales, but especially young children, those affected by family instability, children with special needs or disabilities and those suffering the effects of poverty and deprivation.  We collect and disseminate information about children and promote good practice in children’s services through research, policy and practice development, publications, conferences, seminars, training and access to an extensive library and information service.  Children in Wales has offices in Cardiff and Caernarfon.

3.  The Welsh Refugee Council was established in 1990.  It is the lead voluntary sector agency working with refugees and asylum seekers in Wales. Its vision is to empower refugees and asylum seekers to rebuild their lives.  It provides direct advice and information to asylum seekers and refugees through our team of caseworkers based in our offices in the four dispersal areas.  It also provides a range of specialist support services and proactively advocates for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.

For more information contact:

Sean O’Neill, Policy Director, Children in Wales, Tel: 029 2034 2434,  E-mail: sean.oneill@childreninwales.org.uk