Gwenda Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services
At Plenary on Tuesday 20 November I informed members of my intention to respond on behalf of the Welsh Government to the Children’s Commissioner for Wales’ Annual Report 2011-12.
The Children’s Commissioner is an independent children’s rights institution and makes representations to the Welsh Government and to others as necessary on the views of children and young people and the key issues affecting them. The Commissioner challenges Ministers and other agencies in Wales to take children and young people’s views, issues and needs seriously. The matters he raises cover a range of policy and service areas and include matters that cross the portfolios of a number of Ministers.
The Commissioners report is published annually in October and in line with the protocols agreed for annual reports from the Children’s Commissioner, a formal response from the Welsh Government is required by the end of March. However, during the plenary debate in November 2011, I committed to streamlining the reporting process, and am pleased to provide the full Welsh Government response on 30 November 2012.
Alongside our response we are also publishing the Commissioners budget estimate. Paragraph 6(2) of Schedule 2 of the Care Standards Act 2000 states that the Commissioner shall prepare and submit to the Welsh Government an estimate of income and expenses, and that the Welsh Government shall lay the estimate before the National Assembly for Wales. The estimate has been laid in the table office today.
I thank the Commissioner for his report. Our response addresses the key issues raised and contains statements on existing and planned policy. A copy of both the Welsh Government’s response to the Commissioners report and the Commissioners budget estimate is attached to this Statement.