BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Wales  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 20:55 GMT 21:55 UK
New plans for Children's Commissioner
child at risk graphic
The children's commissioner is one of several proposals
Assembly Members have voted for the proposed Children's Commissioner for Wales to have a much wider remit.

The role of Commissioner is being set up in response to the north Wales child abuse scandal.

The Assembly Social Services Secretary, Jane Hutt, says the Government at Westminster is ready to change the law to give more power to the role.

AMs discussed a recommendation from the health and social services committee and seek to press the government for action on setting up a commissioner with a broad base of responsibilities.

The motion explored the role and functions of an independent commissioner for Wales.

But Catriona Williams, chief executive of Children in Care, said that there were concerns about how councils would fund the wider recommendations for better children's services.
"We feel that in relation to the children's commissioner, the assembly has been doing an excellent job"

Catriona Williams, chief executive Children in Care

Mrs Williams said the report's call for a national review of children in need was a major resource issue for small councils in Wales, such as Merthyr Tydfil.

Gaps also existed, she said, in the range of recommendations tabled, which needed to be addressed.

"We feel that in relation to the children's commissioner, the assembly has been doing an excellent job," she said.

Sir Ronald Waterhouse:
Sir Ronald Waterhouse: Key recommendations

But she added: "When we in Children in Care looked at the recommendations we felt there were some fairly major gaps. For instance, the therapeutic services - there's very little mention of health."

The Assembly is setting aside one third of the extra 48m of its funding for social services on services for children.

In this year's Assembly budget settlement, an additional 2m of central resources was identified to implement the recommendations of the Tribunal.

An additional 1.5m of central resources in the Children's Services Development budget has been allocated.

Policy changes

The appointment of a children's commissioner for Wales is one of 70 separate recommendations in the 79-page response to the "Lost In Care" report, following the Waterhouse inquiry.

Other key proposals range from the training of social workers to guidelines for foster carers and checks on staff working with children.

Many issues have already being implemented or undergone policy changes ahead of the report's publication, with the rights of the child given prominence.

The report admits "a great deal of work is to be done to change children's services".

Among its key recommendations is the assembly developing a children's and young people's strategy.

The report also emphasises the importance of local councillors being properly informed by officials and for them to play a full part in the inspections of children's homes

An inter-agency approach between social services, the assembly and police to act on cases of abuse is also suggested.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Catriona Williams, chief executive Children in Care
"I think implementation of that many recommendations is a very long job"
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes