In this section
Section highlightThe People’s NHS Part of an initiative to engage the public in creating a safe and sustainable health service for the future.
Community Support Officers at work »Action on the ground to provide reassurance and tackle anti-social behaviour.Learn more »
First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
People from across Wales with an interest in the Welsh language are being asked to take action on its future in a national online conversation.
- Local Government Democracy Bill approved
- Minister welcomes report which could change shape and structure of education delivery in Wales for the better
- First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
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- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
In this section
Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
The Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-2023 »The 3rd phase focuses on ensuring that older people in Wales have the resources to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face.Learn more »
- A new vision for a National Youth Work Strategy
- The future delivery of education services in Wales
- Consultation on Draft Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23 Economic Development
- Draft industrial and commercial sector plan
- Waste Prevention Programme
- Building Control system and Approved Document supporting regulation 7
In this section
Section highlightReview of the Planning Enforcement System
The research covers 18 recommendations for the future Welsh enforcement system.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
WIIP Pipeline »
The June 2013 pipeline includes key infrastructure investment data for both the Welsh Government and Local Government schemes.Learn more »
Response Of The Welsh Assembly Government To The Annual Report Of The Children’s Commissioner For Wales
I welcome the chance to respond to the children’s commissioner’s fourth annual report. The report identifies six key issues, the first of which is respect. We agree with Peter Clarke that respect means treating children and young people as citizens, and that it works both ways. Respect for children and young people remains central to all our work on their behalf.
Promoting children and young people’s participation is a key part of this agenda. The participation consortium has continued over the past year to develop new and exciting ways of involving young people throughout Wales, and to share ideas and good practice. We aim to increase the involvement of children and young people in the work of the Assembly Government, including policy development and consultation, through our own participation project.
The second issue is advocacy. Here again we both share a commitment to strengthening advocacy services in Wales, finding creative models of delivery, and improving local provision. Our review of advocacy services has been built on a firm evidence base, involving large-scale consultation with children and young people. We believe that significant progress has been made in setting up the necessary framework and programmes to raise standards for the delivery of advocacy services. Over the summer we will be consulting on proposals for developing a new collaborative regional model for the delivery of children’s advocacy services. The consultation will take views on a framework for commissioning advocacy to assist children and young people in making complaints in both health and social services.
The commissioner recognises the significance of the standards set out in the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services, which was published in September. These standards reach across health and social care, together with related aspects of other services, such as education, and are vital tools for children and young people’s partnerships in planning and delivering integrated local services under the Children Act 2004. Progress on implementation of the standards will be monitored and evaluated at both local and national levels.
The commissioner’s report rightly points to the increasing recognition at a national policy level of the importance of school nursing. To drive this forward, we have formed a cross-cutting group to develop a national consensus on the role of school nurses and to draw up an action plan for a modern school nursing service in Wales.
The commissioner’s fifth area of concern is internet safety. We maintain close contact with the UK Government and other partners on this issue, and are involved in several initiatives that will ensure that parents and children are adequately protected.
We welcome the commissioner’s continuing involvement in the implementation of the recommendations of the Clywch report and note the commendation his report gives to our work. I presented an update on the implementation of our response to the Clywch report to the Education and Lifelong Learning Committee in February. We are on track to deliver on implementation on the majority of the recommendations within the coming months.
The commissioner also commented on four other issues. He welcomed publication of ‘A Fair Future for our Children’, our child poverty strategy, in February 2005. The Deputy Minister for Communities will shortly be issuing his child poverty implementation plan, detailing how we intend to take forward this important work.
Progress in implementing ‘Everybody’s Business’, our strategy for child and adolescent mental health services in Wales, continues to feature in the commissioner’s annual report. Our objective here is to ensure that progress in putting this 10-year strategy into action continues to be steady and sustained. Our clear long-term goal is that CAMHS responds to children and young people up to their eighteenth birthday.
Our commitment to CAMHS has been backed up by significant funding. The Minister for Health and Social Services signalled in September 2004 that new recurrent money totalling £1.2 million was to be made available for CAMHS, for provision of beds for adolescents who require admission in emergencies, and for forensic adolescent consultation teams and primary mental-health workers. In addition, £2.4 million of non-recurrent waiting times money was earmarked for CAMHS in this financial year. A costed plan for the development of CAMHS, prepared by Health Commission Wales in consultation with local health boards and local services, is currently being finalised.
Considerable effort has been devoted over the past year to building on and extending anti-bullying initiatives. Action taken included the first Respecting Others week held in October 2005, which saw the launch of the new anti-bullying network in Wales and the launch of our preliminary summary report assessing school bullying policies. We are continuing to take these initiatives forward and I await with interest the findings and recommendations of the children’s commissioner’s review of bullying in schools.
Finally, we have published our first parenting action plan, designed to enhance the support and information available to all parents. I am pleased to report that partnerships have increased funding for family support, under the Cymorth grant scheme, of 74 per cent, or £2.4 million, for the coming year. We intend the action plan to increase the amount of information and advice available to parents, including booklets for new parents, and a new bilingual helpline which should be in operation from 1 April 2007.
The children and young people’s agenda in Wales is a dynamic and challenging one. These issues will continue to have a high profile throughout the coming year, as we prepare Wales’s contribution to the next report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which is due in July 2007. Our children’s commissioner continues to play an important and unique role in helping us to implement a strategy that addresses the priority issues faced by children and young people in Wales.