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Ymateb gan:  Gofal Cymdeithasol Cymru

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National Assembly for Wales
Children, Young People and Education Committee

Inquiry into Children’s rights in Wales

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Response from: Social Care Wales

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As the Rights of Children and Young Persons Measure (2011) sets a duty for Welsh Ministers to give due regard to the United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child (UNCRC) in the exercise of their functions, we acknowledge that the government is best placed to respond to this inquiry. We provide this letter as supplementary information to inform the Committee’s work.

As a Welsh Government sponsored body, whilst the Measure doesn’t apply directly to us, we are committed to supporting Welsh Minister’s efforts of developing and delivering policy which promotes and protects the rights of children and young people. We believe firmly that knowledge about the rights of children and young people for every professional who may offer care and support is vital, as is a better understanding of rights and more accessible support to children and young people themselves. As an organisation we have found the Children’s Commissioner’s report The Right Way: A Children’s Rights Approach in Wales (2017) and the framework therein, important in our work to embed children’s rights in the various work streams of our business, including our efforts of leading improvement in social care practice and services, workforce development and regulation.

For example, in 2018, we completed a programme of work that provided training and awareness on the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. This shared the principles and much of the detail of the cultural and practice changes expected under the Act, with professionals across social care, social work, health and third sector organisations. This work started with an understanding of rights-based, outcome focussed activity.

We have been undertaking a large programme of work around outcome focussed, strengths based social work and social care practice (Collaborative Conversations) and all this practice should be undertaken within the context of a rights-based approach. This includes the development of materials around the emerging roles of Information, Advice and Assistance Workers.

We have been working with Qualifications Wales and Awarding Bodies to develop a suite of new qualifications for workers in early years and childcare settings and for those supporting children and young people in social care settings. All these qualifications specifically reference the UNCRC as a way of informing care workers about the rights and entitlements of children and young people, so they can meaningfully seek to secure them through the delivery of good practice.

We agree with the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, that delivering on children’s rights will help us to further foster a culture which promotes thinking about the impact of what goes on in society to children, challenging bad practice and promoting positive outcomes. Practical improvements leading to beneficial outcomes are essential for children’s rights to have real meaning, and through our work we seek to ensure that care professionals are enablers for their rights to be realised.