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 ForumNSPCCChildren in WalesChildren in Wales EventsBarnardo's CymruPlay WalesUK Children's RightsFund for ChildrenWelsh GovernmentEurochild

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.

‘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.

Children in Wales…

Welsh Government responds to report on refugees and asylum seekers in Wales

The Welsh Government has issued a written response to ‘I used to be someone’: Refugees and asylum seekers in Wales, a report published by the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee.

The inquiry looked at the effectiveness of Welsh Government’s delivery of services to aid refugees to settle and play a full part in our communities. The report found examples of good practice throughout Wales, but that more could be done to help delivery partners. The report made 19 recommendations to address those areas.

The Welsh Government published their written response to the report and the recommendations on 14 June 2017. The response restates the Welsh Government’s commitment to helping refugees and asylum seekers fulfil their potential in Wales and also states whether or not the Welsh Government accepts or rejects the recommendations made by the Committee.

Children in Wales welcomes the Welsh Government’s response to the ELGC Committee’s Report noting that 18 of the 19 Recommendations were either accepted in full or at least in principle. Sean O’Neill, Policy Director said ‘The Committee’s inquiry identified a considerable number of barriers and challenges faced by refugee and asylum seekers as some of the most vulnerable people in our society.  The Welsh Governments commitment to build upon its history of providing sanctuary for vulnerable children and families is to be commended, and we look forward to working with officials and our members to help ensure that all children coming to Wales remain safe and are properly supported to reach their full potential’.

The original report from the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee can be read here, while the Welsh Government’s response to the report can be read here. The report is due to be debated in Plenary on Wednesday 21 June 2017.

Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children announces Children First

Carl Sargeant AM, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, has announced Children First, a new approach to tackling inequality and meeting the needs of children and young people.

The approach focuses on local communities and organisations working collaboratively around a specific place. The Cabinet Secretary expects an anchor organisation in each area to bring the organisations together, develop a strategic focus and determine the outcomes that they want to achieve. When they begin, they will also determine how they intend to evaluate the progress towards their outcomes.

The Cabinet Secretary has said that he expects the rights of children and young people to be central to the approach and for preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and mitigating their impact to be a priority.

Five organisations have been chosen to act as pioneers, out of nineteen who expressed interest in the project. These organisations will pioneer the process in Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Cwm Taf, Gwynedd and Newport.

For more information, please see the Welsh Government’s website here, and to read the Cabinet Secretary’s statement in full, please see here.

Improvement in GCSE Results for Children in Care

The most recent figures show that 23% looked after children have achieved the equivalent of five good grade GCSEs in English or Welsh and in maths in 2016, a 17% rise from 2015.

The figures come from a report on the progress of the Welsh Government’s plan to improve ambitions and educational attainment of children in care. The number of pupils achieving A*- C results in English or first language Welsh and maths increased as above between 2016 and 2015, but also doubled from 2011.  The report said that the gap with teenagers as a whole was still unacceptable. The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams, pledged further support for children in care noting that “Looked after children must have the same opportunities as their peers.”

Children in Wales welcomed the progress made and the further commitment to closing the gap, with Sean O’Neill, Policy Director saying “There appears to be good progress being made in increasing the attainment level of looked after children in Wales, with today’s figures undoubtedly very welcome.  We look forward to further progress being made and that all barriers are lifted to ensure that all children reach their full potential”.

For more information see the Welsh Government website and to read the report in its entirety, please see here.

Latest categorisation figures show improvements in Welsh schools

The National Categorisation System, published today, was introduced in 2014 to identify schools that require support in order to improve. Schools are rated and placed in one of four colour coded support categories, based on their need. Schools are judged on a range of categories including performance data and capacity to improve in the areas of leadership, teaching and learning. The latest results from show that, when compared with the previous year, fewer schools are being placed in the highest support needs category.

Visit the Welsh Government website to find out more.

The State of Child Health

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have published a report on the health of children in the UK.

The report brings together for the first time data on 25 measures of child health including specific conditions such as asthma and diabetes, risk factors such as obesity and low rate of breast-feeding, and data on child deaths.

The report finds that nearly one in five children in the UK is living in poverty and that inequality is a major factor in their health, with those from deprived backgrounds experiencing worse health than those from affluent backgrounds.

You can download the Wales-specific recommendations here.

Cabinet Secretary for Children announces £7.8m to prevent homelessness

The Cabinet Secretary for Children, Carl Sargeant AM, has announced a £7.8m grant to fund the Homeless Prevention Programme for 2017/18.

The grant will support third sector organisations and local authorities to deliver frontline services with the aim of preventing homelessness.

Read more here.

AGENDA: A Young People’s Guide to Making Positive Relationships Matter

AGENDA: A Young People’s Guide to Making Positive Relationships Matter, is an online tool-kit produced with young people for young people. It aims to support young people to safely and creatively raise awareness of gender inequalities, sexual harassment and violence in schools and communities. Agenda showcases examples of the work young people are already doing in order to inspire and support others to speak out about what matters to them. It includes a wide range of activities and resources. Issues covered include: addressing gender discrimination, consent, LGBT+ rights, bullying, street harassment, FGM, sexual exploitation, relationship violence and many more.

AGENDA is available in English and Welsh. The guide and supporting resources are free to download at www.agenda.wales.

Maths Tips for Parents

New learning materials have been developed to help parents get more involved in their children’s maths homework.

Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams AM, has launched the new materials, developed with three Welsh numeracy experts, with the aim of making helping children with homework less stressful for parents and carers. Booklets and videos are published online, which include different types of calculations, appropriate for different age groups, and demonstrate how best to help with each calculation.

Visit the Children in Wales website to find out more.

Children in Wales, in partnership with Public Health Wales, has developed a new child safety toolkit for 2017

Aimed at reducing unintentional injuries in the under 5′s, this exciting new toolkit provides your organisation and practitioners with all of the resources needed to deliver a whole year of child safety information and advice to parents.

The toolkit includes attractive, printed calendars for your parents and a USB stick for your organisation. The USB resource is divided into months, with each month directly supporting the calendar messages parents will see on a daily basis.  For each month there is a team briefing, a step-by-step interactive group session plan, handouts, poster downloads, twitter feeds, text messages and face book uploads.

Issues addressed in the toolkit include nicotine poisoning, falls, scalds, blind cords and nappy sacks.  Everything has been developed for you, from the group delivery session plans to the ready to use text for your social media and everything is available in Welsh and English.

The Keep Kids Safe toolkit was developed to address the needs of practitioners, who stated; “We know we should do something, but we haven’t got the time to develop anything and we’re not sure what to do or how to address it.  We need something we can pick up and run with”.

It’s not just practitioners who have had their say, parents have also played a huge role in the development of the resources.  They have advised on details such as calendar images, language used, the practical advice they need and also how they want practitioners to support them.

Whether you are new to child safety or are already addressing the issues, the easy to use format of this toolkit provides a structured, informed approach to unintentional injury prevention.

The Keep Kids Safe toolkit launched on 9 November 2016.

From £135

For more information, please visit: http://www.childreninwales.org.uk/our-work/accident-prevention/keep-kids-safe-2017/

Almost one in five of children under five in Wales have poor oral hygiene

Too many children under the age of five have poor oral hygiene, according to a survey published by charity Action for Children.

The polling of 2,000 parents across the UK (115 in Wales) found that 19% children under five in Wales brush their teeth just once a day or less frequently, even though baby teeth, much like adult teeth, need brushing twice a day – in the morning and just before bed.

Almost a quarter of Welsh parents (24 per cent) also said that they only sometimes supervise their children aged five or under to brush their teeth, despite the fact that NHS guidelines advise parents to supervise their children while brushing their teeth up until the age of seven. Lack of supervision to ensure children are brushing effectively twice a day, can lead to a lifetime of poor oral health.

For tips on how to get children into a brushing routine visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk.

Programme for Government: Taking Wales Forward 2016-2021

The Welsh Government has published its Programme for Government for the next five years.

Taking Wales Forward sets out the government’s programme to drive forward improvement in Wales.

The document outlines the government’s key priorities for delivering improvements and building a united, connected and sustainable Wales. The next five years is critical as the UK withdraws from the European Union and all the challenges and uncertainty this presents.

The Government’s key priorities for Wales are to be:

  • Prosperous and Secure
  • Healthy and Active
  • Ambitious and Learning
  • United and Connected
  • Shared Challenges and Opportunities
  • Driving Forward Delivery

Click here to find out more.

Child and Family Poverty in Wales survey 2016

For the past two years, Children in Wales has published a report, Child and Family Poverty in Wales: A snapshot of key issues raised by families (2014) (2015). We are repeating the survey for 2016 to give us an up to date picture of poverty in Wales and to identify trends over the three year period. Government figures published in June 2016 show that 29% of all children in Wales are living in poverty. Children are said to be living in poverty if they live in families with an income below 60% of the median income.

We are keen to hear from you  to help us understand what the main poverty related issues currently facing children and families in Wales are today and how much this has changed over the past year. We are interested to hear about ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ changes, or where there has been little or no change.

Click here to find out more.

Children in Wales Events…

Training Events:

28/06/17: What Matters to Children and Young People Conversations?– Cardiff.

05/07/17: Cultural Awareness in Safeguarding Children – Cardiff.

06/07/17: Understanding How to Safeguard the Welfare of Children and Young People – Accredited Training Level 2 – Cardiff.

13/07/17: Understanding and Responding to Bullying – Cardiff.

20/07/17: The Bigger Picture – Working with Children and Families in Wales – Cardiff.

08/08/17: Children in Wales’ Annual Forum at the National Eisteddfod – National Eisteddfod Conference Room (near the Pavilion), Bodedern, North Anglesey, LL65 3SS, 2pm-2:45pm

07/09/17: Understanding How to Safeguard the Welfare of Children and Young People – Accredited Training Level 3 – Cardiff.

Barnardo’s Cymru…

Barnardo’s Cymru has published research into the need for support services for sexually exploited boys and young men in Wales.

The aim of the report is to increase the understanding of child sexual exploitation, relating to boys and young men, and provides recommendations to improve their engagement in child sexual exploitation (CSE) prevention and intervention services. Key findings from the report include:

  • Negative experiences of care and family life can create vulnerabilities and lead to a higher risk of sexual exploitation
  • Professionals are concerned that there is more complacency around teenage boys that go missing, compared with missing girls, which explains discrepancies in reporting patterns
  • Boys’ routes into sexual exploitation are complicated and difficult to identify

Find out more here.

Play Wales…

Children and young people call for ‘More safe places to play’

Children and young people call for ‘more safe places to play’ in National Assembly for Wales’ Children, Young People and Education Committee’s Legacy Report: Views of Children and Young People. More skate parks and a youth parliament were also among the issues that mattered the most to children and young people.

Read more here.

Physical activity guidelines for early years

The joint UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) physical activity guidelines advise children under the age of five to be physically active for at least 180 minutes everyday and to reduce sedentary behaviour.

To visually demonstrate the physical activity guidelines the CMOs have published the ‘Every movement counts’ infographic which encourages children under the age of five to ‘Move more. Sit less. Play together’.

Wales’ new Chief Medical Officer, Dr Frank Atherton said:

‘This infographic will help early years teachers, nursery schools, health visitors and doctors to talk about the importance of young children being active.’

Download infographic

More information

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…

Landmark health Bill introduced

The Public Health (Wales) Bill aims to improve the well-being of people in Wales, particularly focusing on the promotion of children and young people’s health.

The Bill will ban smoking in school grounds, hospital grounds and public playgrounds as well as introducing a mandatory licensing scheme for procedures such as acupuncture, body piercing electrolysis and tattooing. Intimate body piercings will be prohibited for those under the age of 16.

Visit the Welsh Government website for more information.

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…

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

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.