Advocacy is about speaking up for children and young people, making sure that their rights are respected and their views are heard in decisions which affect them. Advocacy is also about supporting children and young people to speak up for themselves, informed by the international framework provided by the UNCRC.
Children in Wales has been working to promote the provision of high quality advocacy services for children and young people since the Waterhouse Report, Lost in Care, was published in 2000. The report recommended the establishment of independent advocacy services and the establishment of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales. Children in Wales was part of this, together with the consortium which established the MEIC Helpline in 2010.
Children in Wales is working with our member organisations to help ensure that independent advocacy services are in place which help protect children from abuse and harm, including those most vulnerable.
Children in Wales established this professional network in 2004 to promote partnership working amongst our member organisations, who deliver independent advocacy services for children and young people across Wales. This network works towards providing a collective voice for the advocacy sector, developing policy positions and strategies to aid the implementation of both legislation and policy at a national level, and the delivery of commissioned services at a regional level.
The professional network works towards these aims by:
Engaging with Welsh Government on commissioning arrangements, the effectiveness of the tendering process and the implementation of key legislation and related guidance
Informing the delivery of the National Approach to Statutory Advocacy (NASA)
Providing a collective campaigning/lobbying voice for the advocacy sector, and children and young people accessing advocacy support
Membership of the group consists of independent professional advocacy (IPA) services commissioned to deliver advocacy to children and young people in Wales, alongside organisations with a related role in promoting the rights of care experienced children and other vulnerable groups who may benefit from advocacy provision. Representation includes:
Other organisations will be invited to attend Network meetings where there is a clear link with the advocacy agenda.
For more information about our advocacy work, please contact: Sean O’Neill (Policy Director), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org