Meetings

NDM7287 Welsh Conservatives Debate - Looked-after children

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Meeting: 04/03/2020 - Plenary (Item 6)

Welsh Conservatives Debate - Looked After Children

NDM7287 - Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

To propose that the National Assembly for Wales;

1. Notes the Public Accounts Committee’s report into care experienced children and young people and the Ministerial Advisory Group for Improving Outcomes for Children Programme’s Annual Report 2019.

2. Further notes that the life chances of looked-after children and care leavers are significantly poorer than those children who are not in care.

3. Regrets that the number of looked after children in Wales has risen by 34 per cent in the last 15 years, and that nearly 10 per cent of children in care have been in three or more placements.

4. Calls on the Welsh Government to: 

a) urgently review local authority plans on reducing the numbers of looked-after children;

b) assist local authorities in recruiting 550 Welsh foster families to cover the gaps found by the Fostering Network;

c) investigate financial and rehabilitative support available to adoptive parents; and

d) ensure the roll out of access to free positive parenting courses to be offered for all parents and guardians across Wales.

Public Accounts Committee report - Care Experienced Children and Young People - November 2018

Ministerial Advisory Group for Improving Outcomes for Children Programme’s Annual Report 2019

The following amendments have been tabled:

Amendment 1 - Sian Gwenllian (Arfon)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Recognises that there are complex reasons behind the increasing levels of children in care, but believes that the expectation on local authorities to set targets in order to address the problem is a superficial solution.

Amendment 2 - Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Believes that:

a) a well-recognised route out of care is via good quality contact between looked after children and their parents;

b) contact ought not to be reduced or restricted for the convenience of paid care providers; and

c) restricted contact can retain children in care for longer than necessary.

Amendment 3 - Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Recognises that care leavers who become parents are also at risk of discrimination and that all looked after children's cases might usefully be revisited to check for any history of discrimination against parents that contributed to their child remaining looked after.

Amendment 4 - Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Recognises that the profit motive should be taken out of children's care and that private companies are not best placed to serve the interests of children in Wales going forward.

Amendment 5 - Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Demands that children who allege abuse in care are taken seriously and that they are provided with an advocate, spoken to by a child protection specialist in a place of safety in order to go through the issues they have raised.

Amendment 6 - Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Recognises that investigations of complaints disputing facts in intake and assessment reports in relation to looked after children need to be totally independent and not paid for by the county council about whom the complainant is complaining.

 

 

 

Minutes:

          The item started at 16.28

Voting on the motion and amendments under this item was deferred until Voting Time.

A vote was taken on the motion without amendment:

NDM7287 - Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

To propose that the National Assembly for Wales;

1. Notes the Public Accounts Committee’s report into care experienced children and young people and the Ministerial Advisory Group for Improving Outcomes for Children Programme’s Annual Report 2019.

2. Further notes that the life chances of looked-after children and care leavers are significantly poorer than those children who are not in care.

3. Regrets that the number of looked after children in Wales has risen by 34 per cent in the last 15 years, and that nearly 10 per cent of children in care have been in three or more placements.

4. Calls on the Welsh Government to: 

a) urgently review local authority plans on reducing the numbers of looked-after children;

b) assist local authorities in recruiting 550 Welsh foster families to cover the gaps found by the Fostering Network;

c) investigate financial and rehabilitative support available to adoptive parents; and

d) ensure the roll out of access to free positive parenting courses to be offered for all parents and guardians across Wales.

For

Abstain

Against

Total

41

0

10

51

The motion without amendment was agreed.