Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Services for children and young people are a top priority for Welsh councils, says WLGA

The WLGA has today welcomed the annual report of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales which reviews the quality of services for children and young people in Wales.

WLGA Leader, Cllr John Davies (Pembrokeshire), said:

“The report highlights many examples of good practice that are underway across Wales by local authorities in delivering services for children and young people. These include the provision of school based counselling in schools across Wales, the revision of the Personal and Social Education Framework for schools and the continued development of advocacy services.

“Local authorities are working across departments and with partner agencies through the Children and Young People’s Partnerships to ensure that the services provided respond to local needs.

“We are pleased that one of the key issues raised by today’s report is the need for further multi-agency working with services for children and young people becoming everyone’s responsibility. This supports what the WLGA has been saying for some time that the public sector in Wales must embrace a shared responsibility for delivering services for children and young people, with all partners equally committed to working collaboratively.

“Whilst, there is much for local authorities to be proud of in terms of their progress over the last few years, we recognise that some key challenges remain and which need to be addressed, including improving performance standards even further and addressing performance variability, albeit within an extremely difficult funding climate.

“This year’s provisional local government settlement indicates that there is much worse to come for local authorities in terms of budgets over the next few years. The last few years have already been very tough but by becoming more efficient, working collaboratively and by prioritising resources local authorities have managed to protect vital frontline services including services for children and young people. Across the entire public sector, organisations including local authorities are being forced to consider their priorities for the forthcoming period.

“Improving services for children and young people remains a top priority for every local authority in Wales. They are committed to delivering better outcomes for children and young people and eradicating child poverty in the longer term. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) continues to be the key driver for services for children and young people in Wales and the best interests of children and young people remain at the forefront of service delivery. Furthermore, every local authority in Wales continues to promote the participation of children and young people in the development of their Children and Young People’s Plans and services at a local level.”

A copy of the annual report can be downloaded from www.childcomwales.org.uk


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