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Written Statement - Appointment of the next Children’s Commissioner for Wales

Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

The current Children's Commissioner's tenure will come to an end on 28 February 2015.  The process for appointing a new Commissioner involved joint working between a cross party Ministerial selection panel and a diverse panel of Young People.  This has now successfully concluded and I would like to extend my thanks to all those involved.

I am delighted to announce the First Minister has accepted the Panel’s recommendation arising from the selection process and has appointed Professor Sally Holland PhD CQS, as the next Children’s Commissioner for Wales.

Coming originally from a social work background, Professor Holland currently works at the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University teaching social work and childhood studies at undergraduate, Masters and Doctorate levels and has an international reputation built on enabling children and young people to represent their own views through participative research methods. Professor Holland is the Director and founder of CASCADE (Children’s Social Care Research Centre).  The Centre includes CASCADE Voices, which enables young people who have experienced care to scrutinise CASCADE’s priorities. In addition, she has a strong reputation for her writing, research and public speaking about children's issues.  Her areas of expertise include children's rights, Welsh children’s views about citizenship and identity, looked after children, child protection and adoption.  She has also campaigned for and researched the needs and rights of children.

In addition to a wealth of academic experience, Professor Holland will bring to the role a track record in leadership, management and organisational governance as well as significant media experience and her enthusiasm and commitment to being an independent champion of children’s rights.  

Professor Holland will take up post on 20 April.  The Deputy Children’s Commissioner will exercise the Children’s Commissioner’s functions from 28 February to 19 April 2015.

I would like to again express my sincere thanks to Keith Towler for his commitment and achievements during his 7 year tenure as Commissioner.  I wish him well in whatever future opportunities he may embark upon.