Ending child poverty: Welsh Government child poverty report

Child poverty: final report of the income maximisation action plan

This report summarises what was done to help maximise the income of families living in poverty between 2020 and 2021.

Ministerial foreword

The Welsh Government has always put children and children’s rights at the heart of everything it does.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on our economy, our society and our communities. It has exposed and worsened existing inequalities with some of the most vulnerable in society being the hardest hit.

Never has there been a more important time to do all that we practically can to mitigate the impacts of poverty. Our most recent data shows us that 31% of children are living in relative income poverty (after housing costs).

During the last Senedd term, the First Minister made a commitment to re-engineer existing funded programmes to ensure they have the maximum impact on the lives of children living in poverty. This led to the development of the Child Poverty: Income Maximisation Action Plan (IMAP).

The IMAP contained a set of practical actions that would help maximise the incomes of families living in poverty in Wales and support them to build their financial resilience.

The impact of this Plan is being assessed so that the lessons learnt will help inform future work, ensuring we continue to take the most effective actions to tackle poverty in Wales.

We will continue to be bold, ambitious and progressive in our pursuit of a Wales free of child poverty.

Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice

Future Generations Commissioner’s Report

In May, the Future Generations Report 2020 was published. This report analyses the progress of all public bodies, including Welsh Government, in implementing the wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act since it became law in 2015. It reflects on the progress of all public bodies in terms of whether they have embraced the cultural change required by the Act, and considers the progress being made on each of the seven national wellbeing goals.  More than 5,000 people told the Future Generations Commissioner and her office about what kind of place they want to live in, and what kind of place they want to leave for future generations. The report shares a vision for the future of Wales and sets out recommendations for government and public bodies to help achieve this vision.

Through the interactive online version you can navigate a future Welsh city and its surroundings, there’s a joint emergency services hub (decorated by a local artist) and a gym and leisure centre connected to the hospital, next to a community ‘hwb.’ Wellbeing hubs are dotted across the city, suburbs and countryside. Alongside independently run cafes and shops, sustainable consumption and production is promoted via a swap shop and a repair cafe next to a recycling centre.

Trains make several stops to serve much of the community and there are no cars in the centre – instead, multiple bike racks. A forest centre sits next to a transport hub and there are e-cars with charging ports. In a park, neighbours play wheelchair sports and do outdoor yoga and the Wales women’s rugby team train.

The town hall flies the Welsh flag and a Pride flag, culture is to be found everywhere, the Welsh language is used in everyday life, and there is an outdoor debating space to encourage citizen involvement. Elsewhere, wind turbines and ‘green bridges,’ to mitigate the impacts of roads on walkers and cyclists, providing a safe crossing for wildlife, are the norm.  It’s a Wales with kindness and wellbeing at the heart. One that is fit for the needs of the future.

We have been delighted to work with the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner, and other organisations, to create a young person’s version of the Future Generations Report, which is accessible and exciting.
Developed by a diverse group of young people, to translate the report into their voice and creative style of choice, this version of the report aims to engage other young people, explaining why the content of the report is relevant to them and their future, alongside how they can get involved in demanding the Future Wales they need.

Content provided by Young Wales.

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.

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.

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.

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.