Posted: Wed 10th May 2023

Welsh Government commits to youth-driven care reform

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, May 10th, 2023

In a landmark move, children and young people have spearheaded a significant reform of care services in Wales.

First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed the Welsh Government’s commitment to this radical change by signing a declaration today (10 May).

The declaration, co-created by care-experienced children, young people, and Ministers, underscores the government’s pledge to embed the voices and perspectives of children and young people in the overhaul of children’s services.

The goal is to foster a ‘children first’ approach, ensuring every decision and action taken is focused on helping children and families maintain unity.

This initiative aligns with the ongoing transformation of children’s services in Wales, as the Welsh Government is dedicated to reducing the number of children entering care.

For those in care, the focus is on enabling them to stay close to their homes and communities.

The priority is to keep families together, providing timely and comprehensive support services to both parents and children.

Voices from Care Cymru’s young ambassadors and Welsh Ministers, following the first-ever summit for children and young people in care and care leavers in Wales, developed the declaration.

The summit, held last year, had forty young leaders with care experience in attendance, alongside the First Minister, Ministers for Education and Social Justice, and the Deputy Ministers for Social Services and Mental Health and Well Being.

Paris A’Herne, a young ambassador involved in the declaration’s development, expressed optimism about the commitment.

“We know it will take time to deliver on everything we have agreed with Ministers in this declaration, but we really believe that this time change is going to come,” she said.

Co-chair of last year’s summit and fellow young ambassador, Rhian Thomas, echoed these sentiments, emphasising the need for a consistent care experience across Wales.

First Minister Mark Drakeford praised the collaborative process, stating, “Together we have developed this vision, which I am proud to put my name to as the First Minister of Wales.”

Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan, also affirmed the commitment to ensuring care-experienced children and young people have their rights respected and their needs met, declaring this declaration as the first step towards this goal.

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