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Children in private care in Wales need an advocate

TGP Cymru have released a report claiming that only 5-10% of children in private care homes have access to an advocate who can act on their behalf when needed. It is reported that many homes in Wales were not aware of the 20-year-old recommendation of advocates, as recommended in 2000 in Lost in Care, the report of the Waterhouse inquiry into abuse in north Wales children’s homes.

There are 178 children’s home in Wales, with 23 being run by local government, 155 are run privately. Whilst all of the council run homes use independent professional advocacy, the case is quite different for the rest. TGP Cymru said it appears the concept of individual advocacy is not widely known or understood by those who work in or own private children’s homes.

TGP Cymru chief executive Jackie Murphy said “it’s not just about safeguarding but making sure their lives are happy… it’s not rocket science there is no reason why it should not be done.”

The report encourages the education on advocacy for both professionals and young people. “It follows that more needs to be done to ensure that children’s key workers and children’s homes managers know and understand independent professional advocacy and the rights of children and young people in their care to access such support.” The full report can be found here.

https://www.tgpcymru.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Out-of-Sight-Out-of-Rights-Provision-of-independent-professional-advocacy-in-Childrens-Homes-in-Wales.pdf)