Jane Hutt, MS, Minister for Social Justice
I welcome the 2020-21 annual report from the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, which includes 18 recommendations for the Welsh Government.
I am pleased that as a Government we are able to accept, or accept in principle all but one of the Children’s Commissioner’s recommendations. With the First Minister, I am today publishing our comprehensive response to each of these recommendations together with information about the actions we have already taken or intend to take.
The Commissioner has called for urgent action to improve support for young people in a mental health crisis. We also know the pandemic continues to have a profound effect, particularly on children and young people, which is why realising their rights is so vitally important. Improving crisis care and specialist support for those that need it continues to be a priority for this Government, alongside taking a preventive approach, strengthening early help, school support and digital provision of mental health resources.
I recognise that as Professor Holland nears the end of her term, this will be her final annual report as Children’s Commissioner for Wales. I would like to express my thanks to Professor Holland for the tireless work she has undertaken on behalf of children and young people in Wales. The Children’s Commissioner and her office have played a valuable role in giving children and young people a voice and advocating for their rights. I am particularly grateful for the role she has played in ensuring the voices of children and young people were heard during the pandemic.
Our response to the Children’s Commissioner’s report demonstrates our commitment to children’s rights in Wales.
The Deputy Minister for Social Services will also publish next month our revised Children’s Rights Scheme which sets out the arrangements Welsh Ministers have in place to pay due regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.