Member News: Barnardo’s Cymru’s statement on the Children, Young People and Education Committee’s inquiry report and Welsh Government response
Barnardo’s Cymru welcomes the inclusion of many of our key recommendations in the Children, Young People & Education Committee inquiry into ‘services for care experienced children: exploring radical reform’ and the subsequent response by Welsh Government. We’re so proud of our parents, children, young people and their families for inputting into this process and sharing their stories, experiences and views and grateful to the Committee for listening. We urge Welsh Government to ensure that their voices continue to play a central role in developing next steps.
We are delighted that our recommendation that all care experienced We urge Welsh Government to ensure that their voices continue to play a central role in developing next steps. children should receive therapeutic mental health support was accepted, in part. However, Welsh Government must ensure that the frameworks and service specifications that aim to support children and young people’s mental health, prioritise the unique needs of care experienced children and young people to ensure they do not fall through the gaps.
We are pleased that the need for early intervention and prevention services has been acknowledged and that the Welsh Government has accepted, in part, the recommendation to rollout our successful edge of care services, including the ‘Baby & Me’ model. We have robust evidence and evaluation of the impact of this model and would be keen to share this with Welsh Government to inform future rollout. We would now urge for a timeline and commitment to funding to support this.
We welcome the recommendation to give all care experienced birth parents a statutory right to intensive wraparound support to reduce the risk of children being removed from their care. Whilst Welsh Government has accepted this, in part, we believe this support needs to ensure that, in addition to specialist parental advocacy, care-experienced birth parents have access to trauma-informed support from the earliest possible point.
A commitment to address the inequity in kinship care is also an important development, as we recommended in our written evidence. Our Monmouthshire Families Together service is an example of a local authority partnership that has implemented good practice in relation to kinship care and should be replicated across Wales.
We would have liked to see better acknowledgment of the impact of poverty on families and the services that support them. We continue to have concerns about the impact of deprivation on families that are on the edge of care.
It is now imperative that Welsh Government sets out clear timelines and resource commitments to ensure that many of the recommendations can be implemented in full.
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