Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services
Today, I am publishing a National Action Plan on tackling child sexual abuse and launching a consultation on statutory guidance to safeguard children from child sexual exploitation.
Part 7 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 set out a new legal framework to strengthen safeguarding arrangements so that people at risk can be protected more effectively.There has been much progress since the introduction of the Act with leadership and improvements in safeguarding driven by the regional safeguarding boards and the National Independent Safeguarding Board.
However, I am clear that there can be no complacency and that tackling abuse and harm to children and adults must remain a key priority for the Welsh Government and our partners. Our commitment to deliver this policy has been informed by the important work of the Cross Party Group on Preventing Child Sexual Abuse and evidence from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). Most importantly we have considered evidence from children themselves and from adult survivors.
At the heart of this policy is a commitment to promote a position where children in Wales feel listened to, benefit from child-centred practice and can realise their right to be safe. Sexual abuse can have a devastating impact on childhoods and throughout life. We must work together to do everything we can to prevent child sexual abuse, to protect children at risk and to support children to recover from the significant harm that sexual abuse causes.