Government Policy and Strategies for Wales

Contents

How safe are our children?

Parents' and carers' views on how we can work together to prevent the sexual abuse of disabled children

From bumps to babies: perinatal mental health care in Wales

Mind over matter. A report on the step change needed in emotional and mental health support for children and young people in Wales.

Responding to issues of self-harm and thoughts of suicide in young people: guidance for teachers, professionals, volunteers and youth services

Life  Skills in the Curriculum

Online safety action plan for children and young people in Wales 2019

Advocacy standards and outcomes framework for children and young people

School Uniforms to Become More Affordable
Childcare, Play and Early Years Workforce Plan

Childcare Statutory Guidance

Child Poverty Strategy for Wales

Evaluation of Families First - Year 3 Report

Evaluation of the Early Implementation of the Childcare Offer for Wales

Flying Start - Quality Childcare Guidance

‘Help at Hand’An evaluation report of a programme of activities promoting alternatives to smacking children

Reading and numeracy tests in Wales – 2019

Review of the Capacity and Delivery of Play Training in Wales

The Welsh Government response to the Annual Report of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales 2017–18

How safe are our children?

For the past six years our annual How safe are our children? report has compiled and analysed data from across the UK to show the current child protection landscape.

This year, for the first time, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have taken on this task, with the first edition of its compendium of child abuse data sources for England and Wales due in winter 2019/20.

We have taken this opportunity to refocus our 2019 report on statistics relating to the issue of online abuse.

Parents’ and carers’ views on how we can work together to prevent the sexual abuse of disabled children

Children and young people who have disabilities are at an increased risk of being abused compared with their non-disabled peers (Jones et al, 2012). 

Seeking the views and expertise of parents and carers is a vital part of understanding what we need to do to help keep disabled children safe from sexual abuse.

We wanted to find out what parents and carers of disabled children think about:

  • the most effective ways to keep their children safe from sexual abuse and where they feel they need more support

  • how they have conversations with their children about sexual abuse

  • who they go to for advice and support and how they would like professionals and other community groups to engage with them on preventing child sexual abuse.

From bumps to babies: perinatal mental health care in Wales

During the perinatal period, from pregnancy up to a year after birth, women can be affected by a number of mental health problems. These include: depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders and postpartum psychosis. These conditions are referred to as perinatal mental health conditions or illnesses.

This report provides an overview of the findings from the Perinatal Mental Health in Wales project, a collaboration between NSPCC Cymru/Wales, National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH), Mind Cymru and Mental Health Foundation, with support from the Maternal Mental Health Alliance Everyone’s Business Campaign. The project explores perinatal mental health care in Wales and how this is experienced by women and their partners affected by perinatal mental health problems.

Mind over matter. A report on the step change needed in emotional and mental health support for children and young people in Wales

The Children, Young People and Education Committee identifies an urgent need to invest in preventative and early intervention services. The Committee believes that the distress suffered by many children and young people could be reduced or even avoided by enabling them to draw on the right support at the right time, in schools and in primary care across Wales.

As part of the Committee's wide-ranging inquiry into the emotional and mental health of children and young people in Wales, resounding calls were made by stakeholders for a stronger emphasis on early intervention and building emotional resilience. This includes embedding mental health into the new curriculum and ensuring that schools are supported by other services, most notably health, to reduce the stigma associated with mental ill health and to enable children and young people to maintain their emotional well-being.

Responding to issues of self-harm and thoughts of suicide in young people: guidance for teachers, professionals, volunteers and youth services

This guidance provides information for adults who work with children and young people regarding how to respond to issues of suicide and self-harm. It addresses how to ask questions of children and young people who may have suicidal feelings or be self-harming, and how to respond to disclosure of these feelings and behaviours. It provides guidance on confidentiality, safeguarding and routes of escalation.

Life Skills in the Curriculum

Given the current uncertainty surrounding UK and world politics, this report is extremely important as the voices of young people in Wales will hopefully cut through the political tension and will provide a platform for young people's voices to be heard above the noise.

It represents the progress of democracy in Wales and shows young people have a voice. It proves the Welsh Youth Parliament’s dedication and commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of young people. It shows that young people know what is best for young people and that they have the competency to make an impact.

Online safety action plan for children and young people in Wales 2019

The action plan provides an update on the progress of each of the 46 actions detailed in the 2018 plan. It also sets out the details of 15 new actions which will be taken forward by Welsh Government to enhance online safety provision, policy and practice across Wales.

There is no doubt that the internet brings enormous benefits, but it is critical that we openly discuss the darker sides of the internet and the many risks it poses. These are difficult conversations but essential ones to have if we are to educate our children and young people. They have the right to access information that keeps them safe from harm and allows them to navigate the world we live in, one which is very different to the world we, or their parents, grew up in.

Advocacy standards and outcomes framework for children and young people

Advocacy is about: speaking up for children and young people, empowering children and young people to make sure their rights are respected and their views, wishes and feelings are heard at all times, representing the views, wishes and feelings of children and young people to decision-makers, and helping them to navigate the system.

This National Standards and Outcomes Framework sets out wellbeing outcomes for people who need care and support and carers who need support, this includes advocacy. The Framework states people must have the opportunity to speak for themselves and contribute to the decisions affecting their lives, or have someone who can do it for them. The achievement of this must be measured.

School Uniforms to become more affordable

Kirsty Williams AM has published statutory guidance to make school uniforms more affordable, accessible and gender-neutral.

The new Welsh Government guidance comes into force from 1 September 2019 and provides advice for governing bodies and head teachers on issues relating to school uniform policy. The previous 2011 guidance was non-regulatory and, as such, schools were not legally required to have regard to it.

Childcare, Play and Early Years Workforce Plan

A draft plan for the Childcare, Play and Early Years sector setting out our proposed 10-year strategic ambition for this workforce was consulted upon in 2014. Since the consultation, there have been a number of significant policy developments relating to this sector, including the development of a new suite of qualifications for childcare and play and the Government’s commitment to an enhanced government funded childcare provision for working parents of 3-4 year olds. Further work has been undertaken to assess the impact of these policy developments to ensure they strategically align with the aspirations of this plan. This final plan sets out the direction of travel for the Childcare, Play and Early Years workforce over the next 10 years. However, its focus is on actions taking place within the first 3 years and aligned to the Welsh Government’s National Strategy - Prosperity for All.

 

Written Statement: Childcare, Play and Early Years 10 Year Workforce Plan – one year on

Childcare Statutory Guidance 

This guidance is issued under sections 22 (3), 23(3), 26(2) (b) and 27(7) of the
Childcare Act 2006 and section 118 (A) (2) (b) of the School Standards and
Framework Act 1998. As statutory guidance local authorities must have regard to it.
This means that local authorities must take account of the guidance, and if they
decide to depart from it, have clear and justifiable reasons for doing so.
This guidance is intended to assist local authorities discharge their duty to:

  • ensure sufficient childcare is available

  • undertake childcare sufficiency assessments; and

  • provide information, advice and assistance relating to childcare to parents, prospective parents and those with parental responsibility or care of a child.

Child Poverty Strategy for Wales

Our 2015 Child Poverty Strategy includes 5 key objectives for tackling child poverty and improving the outcomes of low income families in Wales.

Evaluation of Families First 

Year 3 Report

Families First is designed to improve outcomes for children, young people and families. It emphasises prevention and early intervention for families, particularly those living in poverty.

Messages from the reports will be used to inform the future delivery of the Families First programme.

Year 3 Report

The three-year evaluation sought to answer a number of questions about the programme including:

  • whether the programme design is fit for purpose

  • an assessment of how the programme is implemented

  • the quality of the programme’s implementation

  • the impact of the programme on families

  • the impact of the programme at an overall population level.

More documents regarding this National evaluation can be found here

Evaluation of the Early Implementation of the Childcare Offer for Wales

The evaluation has highlighted a number of benefits and challenges associated with developing, delivering and accessing the Offer.

The findings are overall positive. There are positive indications in terms of parents reporting increased flexibility in the types of jobs they do, the hours they work, and their disposable income. As the evaluation is of the first year, there is very little evidence available to determine impact currently.

The evaluators have recommended the Welsh Government give further consideration to:

  • making the application process/proof of eligibility easier and consistent for all working parents

  • improving, and possibly, centralising the approach to communications

  • providing more and clearer information to help parents work out childcare costs, taking into account child tax credit

  • alignment between the provision of childcare and the delivery of Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) in relation to access for parents and funding arrangements.

  • working relationships between schools delivering FPN and childcare providers

  • elements of delivery including charging for additional hours by providers and the use of the SEN budget by Early Implementer local authorities and providers delivering the offer

  • further research to provide conclusive evidence on the impact of the Childcare Offer for Wales.

Find more related documents here.

Flying Start

Flying Start is part of Welsh Governments early years programme for families with children under 4 years of age living in disadvantaged areas of Wales.

 

"Flying Start is one of our top priorities in our Tackling Poverty agenda. We are committed to doubling the number of children and their families benefiting from the Flying Start Programme from 18,000 to 36,000 by the end of this Assembly’s term in 2016."

In 2014-15, 37,260 children benefited from and were in receipt of Flying Start services in Wales at any time, exceeding the expected numbers.

 

 

 

A complete list of Flying Start guidance documents can be found here

‘Help at Hand’
An evaluation report of a programme of activities promoting alternatives to smacking children

Research investigating how to make the physical punishment of children less socially acceptable. The study also identifies the support that best helps parents avoid using physical punishment.

Reading and numeracy tests in Wales – 2019

Information for parents and carers of children in Years 2 to 9

In the summer term 2019, children in Years 2 to 9 will take national tests in reading and numeracy (reasoning). This leaflet explains what the tests involve and what the test results can tell you about your child’s learning.

Review of the Capacity and Delivery of Play Training in Wales

This review examines the current models of play training, the availability of play training and qualifications and the future needs of the workforce.  It contains recommendations which the Welsh Assembly Government has responded to.

The Review was undertaken to assess the development and delivery of playwork training in Wales. We commissioned Melyn Consulting to carry out the review and to look into the current models of provision available and make recommendations for ways of establishing a solid framework of provision for the future. 

The Welsh Government response to the Annual Report of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales 2017–18

The role of the Commissioner is to act as an independent champion for children and young people, advocating their interests and making sure their voices are heard at a local, national and international level. 

 

The current Children's Commissioner for Wales is Professor Sally Holland, who took up post on 20 April 2015.

Find the Commissioner reports for previous years here.

Contact us: +4429 2068 8722   /   Contact@ExChangeWales.org   /  CASCADE, 1-3 Museum Place, Cardiff, CF10 3BD

Cysylltwch â ni: +4429 2068 8722   /   Cysylltu@ExChangeCymru.org   /  CASCADE, 1-3 Lle Amgueddfa, Caerdydd, CF10 3BD

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