ANGLESEY’S council has pledged an intention to treat the children and young people in its care like “our own children”.
It came as members of Anglesey County Council’s executive adopted its “Children Looked After and Leaving Care Strategy 2023-2028.”
The strategy sets out the council’s “commitment, vision and direction” for its corporate parenting role.
The initiative was accepted during a meeting of Anglesey County Council’s executive today, Tuesday (May 30.)
A report was presented by portfolio holders Councillor Gary Pritchard, Children & Families Services and director of Social Services & Head of Children and Families Services Fôn Roberts. The report was authored by Saul Ainsworth and Emma Edwards.
The strategy was developed with a multi-agency corporate parenting panel.
The meeting heard how going into care was “usually a traumatic experience”.
“Children were there, by no fault of their own, some are being looked after because of abuse, neglect or family difficulties.” Mr Roberts said.
There were currently 150 children and young people being cared for on the island, 63 care leavers and 10 unaccompanied asylum seekers.
Sixty five percent of children and young people lived in foster care, the report said.
In the report Mr Roberts, said: “Ynys Môn’s looked after children and care leavers are incredibly important to us.
“We are ambitious for our most vulnerable group of children and young people.
“We continually seek to ensure every child and young person being looked after has the opportunity to thrive; be safe and protected from harm and exploitation; reach their potential; be emotionally and physically healthy and be supported and prepared for adulthood.”
Councillor Pritchard said “Every child and young person on the island should have “the best possible start in life” and be given “every opportunity to thrive.”
“As corporate parents, our vision is to ensure that children and young people receiving care are treated no differently to our own children.
They should be given “the same support, the same encouragement, and same opportunities to achieve the best outcomes for their lives.” He said.
“We have a moral and social responsibility to work together as public services and local communities to work together to offer our children and young people with the opportunities they require to succeed and thrive.”
Within its strategy, among its intentions the council expressed a commitment to protect children and young people from “risk and vulnerability, to know their needs, talents and aspirations, and promote their interests.”
It also pledged to have “high aspirations” and to listen to their views. It would “recognise, support and respect their identity” whilst “supporting academic and vocational achievements, enterprise and creativity” and support “health, emotional wellbeing and resilience” through service access.
It was also “important” for elected members and officers across the council have an “understanding” of the issues. Workshops would be held, and a corporate panel give an opportunity to scrutinze and challenge.
The council would continue to work with Foster Wales nationally and regionally and on care and care leaver accomodation, education, training and employment opportunities.
Mr Roberts thanked everyone who had “taken time” to work on the strategy.
“We have to do out best for the children and young people in care. It’s right these children will get the attention they deserve.”
Cllr Robert Llewelyn Jones said:
“This is not an audit, this has been a self assessment, we decided off our own backs that this strategy plan was needed. We should be very proud of this”.
In a vote, the executive agreed to adopt the strategy.