Monday, 21 May 2012 07:49


NORTH Wales Assembly Member, Mark Isherwood, has raised with the First Minister his concern that some councils in Wales are failing to provide advocacy services for looked-after children.

Speaking in the Chamber, Mr Isherwood stressed that following its 2011 report on child neglect, Action for Children called on the Welsh Government to ensure that agencies work together to fully understand the scale and impact of neglect in every area of Wales and therefore asked the First Minister to respond to the report by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales on advocacy services, which highlighted the failure of some councils to provide advocacy services for looked-after children.


The First Minister replied: “As I have said, we expect agencies to work together to ensure early intervention. One way of doing that is through local service boards, which are able to identify and analyse child neglect data and use them effectively to plan early intervention services to address neglect as quickly as possible.”

Mr Isherwood added: “The issue of advocacy services needs to be addressed. .As the Children’s Commissioner for Wales said "Young people were having decisions being made about them, without them".

“Further to my involvement in a child abuse case which eventually secured convictions I  received a letter from the County Council which included "a significant point raised by Mr Isherwood was the opportunity to seek an appropriate advocate for Child X. I intend to follow up on this and cannot explain why this was not offered at the time".

"Lessons from Sir Ronald Waterhouse’s report, Lost in Care, the Carlile review, Too Serious a Thing, and our own Telling Concerns are that advocacy is an essential element of safeguarding – enabling children and young people to speak up when they perceive that something is wrong.

“As the Children’s Commissioner for Wales states: ‘If this is to happen for all children and young people in care, we would expect that all of them would be actively encouraged to have an advocate with whom they can build up a trusting relationship.”



Promoted by Mark Isherwood AM at National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

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