Children, Young People & Families…

In Neath Port Talbot it is hoped that children and young people will be healthy, confident, active individuals
who achieve their potential within a safe home and community that is free from poverty, abuse and exploitation.

Neath Port Talbot CVS works in Partnership with a range of organisations from different sectors
to improve the quality of life for children, young people and families in our communities.

NPT Children & Young People's ForumNSPCCPlay WalesFund for ChildrenWelsh GovernmentEurochildMeicChildren with Disabilities

Neath Port Talbot Children & Young People’s Voluntary Sector Forum…

The aim of Neath Port Talbot Voluntary Sector Children and Young People’s Forum is to establish a dialogue between Voluntary Organisations, so that their needs and concerns can be accurately reflected within the planning process.

NSPCC Launch “Take 5” Positive Parenting Campaign

Last week, the NSPCC launched their positive parenting campaign, “Take 5”, designed to provide hints and tips to help parents keep their cool in challenging parenting situations.

The campaign aims to promote ways to react calmly when children are misbehaving, rather than reacting angrily by Taking 5: stop – breathe – and react calmly.

The tips focus on why children misbehave, how to set and maintain clear rules, the importance of showing affection and reminding parents that they need to look after themselves too

Read more about the advice on the NSPCC website.

‘Pokemon Go’ Safety Guidelines for Parents

Pokemon Go seems to have become an overnight sensation of late.  The NSPCC have created some guidelines for its safe use.

Read the guidelines here.

NSPCC Research – Sexting

NSPCC has produced a guide to assist parents talk with children about the dangers and legalities surrounding sexting, empowering them to say no to requests.

Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sends sexually explicit messages via their phone or over the internet.

There are many reasons why young people may do this, for example exploring sexual feelings or joining in with others doing it. However, possessing an explicit picture of a child is illegal.

Find out more here.

14 % rise in Self-harm hospital admissions

NSPCC data shows 18,778 children aged 11 to 18 were admitted to hospital for self-harm in 2015/16 this is compared to 16,416 in 2013/14 and represents a 14% rise.

Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, said: ‘A frightening number of children and teenagers are being driven to self-harm as a way of dealing with unresolved feelings, tensions and distress in their lives.

Figures from Childline, run by the NSPCC, showed it delivered 18,471 counselling sessions about self-harm last year which is equivalent to 50 per day. 

Read more here.

NSPCC How Safe are our Children?

NCPCC have published their annual report giving and overview of child protection in the UK, called ‘How safe are our children?’

The report uses 20 indicators to compile and analyse the child protection data for the four nations in the UK for 2017. It also makes comparisons with historical data in order to track progress over time.

The indicators used include contacts with the NSPCC helpline, counselling sessions with Childline, online harm, referrals to social services, children in the child protection system, public attitudes to child abuse and neglect and proportion of looked after children who have three or more placements during the year, among others.

Key findings were an increase in emotional abuse as a reason children were on protections plans or registers, and increasing numbers of contacts to the NSPCC helpline and an increase in the public reporting of child abuse.

The full report can be accessed through the NSPCC website, here.

Play Wales…

Play in the media…

A number of play, playwork and children’s rights related articles have appeared in the media. Here is a small selection – for links to other articles please visit the News section of our website:

Study finds physical activity outside of school is vital for child health (University of Bristol)

UK Children’s Rights…

UN Committee feedback on UK children’s rights

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child recently examined the UK Government’s UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) report in Geneva. The UN Committee assessed the state of children’s rights in the UK over the last five years and has now published concluding remarks on the UK’s report. In the Rest, leisure, recreation and cultural and artistic activities section the Committee welcomes the Welsh Government’s play policy and Play Sufficiency Duty but raises concerns about under-funding of play policies and insufficient places and facilities for play and leisure in the four nations.

Read more here.

Archbishop of Wales Fund for Children…

The Fund has been set up to support children in need and their families and local communities. Successful applicants include community playschemes. Grants can range from £100 to £5000. The Board of Trustees meets twice each year to consider applications.

Read more here.

Welsh Government…

Education in Wales: Our national mission 2017-21

The Welsh Government has published an action plan for education in Wales between 2017-21.

The plan builds on the 2014 document, Qualified for Life and the 2015 curriculum review.

It sets out how the school system will move forward, including the implementation of the new curriculum.

The action plan focuses on raising standards, reducing the attainment gap for students with low-income families, and delivering an improved education system.

You can find out more from the Welsh Government website.

New action plan to improve care and support for people with Autism

The Welsh Government’s refreshed Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Strategic Action Plan aims to improve waiting times, diagnostic pathways and integrated services for children and adults with autism.

The plan will introduce a range of measures to improve services, including a 26 week time target will be introduced for first appointments. Improvements will also be made to assessments, in meeting support needs and raising awareness of ASD.

Find out more here.

Eurochild…

Fundamental Rights Charter

An update from Sean O’Neill, Children in Wales and Eurochild Board Member

Eurochild national partner network members Children in Wales, Children’s Rights Alliance for England, Children in Scotland and Children’s Rights Alliance (Ireland) joined Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) and representatives from the Children’s Commissioner’s offices for an event on ‘Children’s Rights following Brexit’ which took place in Westminster on 13th September.

The seminar was organised by the European Children’s Rights Unit (University of Liverpool) in partnership with a number of non-governmental organisations, and provided an opportunity to hear directly from child rights advocates from across the UK, alongside Members of Parliament and representatives from the devolved administrations.

The outcome of UK withdrawal from the European Union (EU) will have lasting implications and consequences for children living in the EU and the UK, including the devolved nations. This seminar set out some of the key priorities which will affect those under 18 and considered what actions needed to be taken to ensure that they receive appropriate exposure in the broader Brexit negotiations.

As the EU (Withdrawal) Bill progresses through Parliament, the seminar provided a timely opportunity to consider possible amendments which could be submitted to help ensure that the human rights of children are not lost or forgotten when existing EU laws are transferred from Brussels to the UK in March 2019.

The Seminar focused on 5 key priorities

· The Status of EU national children in the UK

· The Potential implications for Child Protection and Safeguarding

· Children and Young people living in Poverty

· The transportation of EU law and children’s rights

· That the views of children and young people are heard and taken seriously

Drawing on the National Networks Statement and Call to Action, members drew attention to the distinct challenges which will confront children and young people in the devolved nations of the UK and Ireland, including the need to safeguard the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland and meaningfully engage the Welsh and Scottish Governments as part the Brexit negotiations.

Eurochild members also raised concerns over the UK Government’s rejection of calls to fully incorporate the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into law, believing that this was not necessary as a number of the Charter rights were already located in UN treaties which the UK Government have ratified.

Yet the repeated reluctance of successive UK Governments to fully incorporate UN human rights treaties, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law, in spite of successive UN Committee recommendations, has resulted in children not having an equivalent legislative protection under UK law.
In the absence of the UNCRC being brought fully into UK law, the Charter must now be transposed fully through the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.

National Network members in UK and Ireland will continue to work closely with Eurochild secretariat and their members to champion the rights of children and young people as negotiations and dialogue continues.

The forthcoming meeting of National Partner Networks of Eurochild in Belgrade in October will provide an opportunity to update the rest of the national networks.

Child Protection Strategy

With this Strategy we hope to lay the foundation for good participation of children within our own work, both in the secretariat and amongst members, with the ultimate goal of achieving a ‘gold standard’ in participatory practice by 2020.

Read Eurochild’s Child Participation Strategy

Eurochild at the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights Symposium

Eurochild attended the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights Symposium with seventeen children from nine different European countries to involve them in the discussion at the Symposium.

The symposium focused on poverty and migration. As Eurochild points out, a third of all asylum seekers coming to the EU in 2015 and 16 were accompanied or unaccompanied children. Children are also more at risk of poverty than adults, with one in four at risk in Europe.

The participating children and young people proposed that children and adult cooperate together to ensure that the children’s perspectives met with adult knowledge of legal systems, to ask for free, compulsory education throughout Europe and to suggest that children and young people met refugee children to help them integrate.

To read more about the symposium and Eurochild and the children and young people’s participation, including videos and a summary report from the EU Agency of Fundamental Rights, please visit the Eurochild website here.

Child Rights and Welfare Groups urge UK Government not to sideline Children’s Rights from Brexit Talks

Eurochild and five national partner networks, Children in Wales among them, have released a statement calling on the UK Government to ensure that children and young people’s views are heard during the Brexit negotiation process. Eurochild is a network of organisations and individuals working in and across Europe to promote the rights and well-being of children and young people.

The statement calls on all those at the negotiating table to ensure that a mechanism to listen to children and young people’s views is part of the negotiation; provide assurances that there will be no roll back on existing children and young people’s rights; ensure that future positive developments are recognised by all parties and continuing to recognise the importance of the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process as essential to minimising the harm of Brexit to children, especially in Northern Ireland.

The undersigned to the statement represents 1800 children’s rights organisations across Europe, who seek a dialogue with key negotiators to discuss their recommendations and ensure that children’s rights are safeguarded.

To read the statement in full, please visit Eurochild’s website here.

Meic…

76% of children and young people feel that adults don’t take their opinions seriously

Less than a quarter of under 25s in Wales feel that their opinions are taken seriously. This information was revealed as part of an ongoing survey conducted by Meic. Meic is the national information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people in Wales.

The survey also suggests that children and young people are not provided with information to challenge people who don’t respect their rights or views. This is a right set out in the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Meic has announced its new campaign to promote rights awareness among children and young people in Wales.

The campaign launched on 25th July 2017 and will see the release of a new interactive video-game style film. It will empower children and young people to access accurate information about their rights. It will also boost their confidence to exercise them day-to-day.

The Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People provided legal advice and support for the video. It said:

“The Observatory’s research indicates that most children and young people do not know about laws that are relevant to their everyday lives and experiences and that there is a huge gap in accessible, accurate legal information for them. We are delighted to be able to help Meic start to fill this gap, combining their creative talent with our legal and human rights expertise.”

Steph Hoffman, Head of Meic said:

“This survey shows that most children and young people in Wales aren’t being listened to. We all need to do more to protect and amplify their voices and address their worries. It is imperative that they are provided with the right tools to recognise their right to be heard and taken seriously. This video will equip children and young people with the information about their rights. This will, in turn, empower them to stop, change or improve their situation.”

Follow the video campaign from 25 July 2017 on Meic’s Facebook (@meic.cymru), Twitter (@meiccymru) and Instagram (@meic.cymru).

Children and young people in Wales up to the age of 25 can contact Meic 8am to midnight, 365 days of the year by instant message, text, call or email.

Children with Disabilities…

Resources for parents of children with disabilities…

Creating a Home Where Your Disabled Child can Thrive
Teacher Resources for Special Needs

Kidz to Adultz Wales News – This Kidz to Adultz Wales Newz is specifically for parents, relatives and carers of children and young adults with disabilities, additional needs and the professionals who support them, who live or work in Wales and the surrounding areas.