Labour’s failure to adequately tackle child poverty or boost educational attainment has let our children down. The full potential of children and young people can only be realised if we produce policies that put their interests at the heart of government. Some groups of children and young people face particular difficulties, such as looked after children and children living in poverty. As well as providing for a safe and nurturing childhood, society must prepare children and young people effectively for the challenges of adulthood.
A NEW VOICE
A Welsh Conservative Assembly Government will be a new voice for children, ensuring that their interests are at the heart of government decisionmaking.
We will work with the UK government to eliminate child poverty – starting with the most severe cases. The interests of looked after children and other children in need will be a priority.
The wellbeing of all children will be promoted through a more child focused NHS and by raising educational attainment. We will continue to work with the Children’s Commissioner to properly protect the interests of children and young people.
A WELSH CONSERVATIVE ASSEMBLY GOVERNMENT WILL:
Reduce Child Poverty
Eliminate child poverty by 2020 – starting with the most severe cases.
Co-operate with the UK government to eradicate the barriers to employment.
We will invest in affordable and flexible childcare including home-based childcare.
Introduce legislation to promote the wellbeing of children and young people to reduce the levels of death and serious injury resulting from traffic accidents; seek to reduce other forms of accidental death amongst children and young people, and promote an integrated approach to health and children’s services.
Ensure that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are improved, together with those for young adults.
Immediate priorities will be to improve the transition between child and adult services and to eliminate the use of adult inpatient services for children with serious mental illnesses.
Improve Corporate Parenting and Care
Publish a strategy to raise the educational attainment of looked after children. A Welsh Conservative Assembly Government will tackle the ingrained attitudes that have led to poor outcomes for looked after children, and remove the stigma surrounding the care system.
Strengthen guidance on corporate parenting and clarify the role of foster carers in corporate parenting.
Extend free bus travel to looked after children and care leavers (up to the age of 25).
Appoint a Cabinet Minister to also serve as Minister for Children and Young People. We will set-up a children and young persons’ “cabinet” to advise the First Minister.
Reform the social workers’ profession to encourage experienced practitioners to stay in front line services, and create the grade of social worker consultant.
Retain the Assembly’s Children and Young People Committee and promote its valuable work.
Make the appointment of the Children’s Commissioner the responsibility of the National Assembly not the Welsh Assembly Government.