The laws which set up our office means we can only provide advice about a child or young person:
- Up to the age of 18, or 21 if they have been in care, or up to 25 if they have been in care and are still in education
- Usually living in Wales, or who is placed in England by a Welsh local authority
- Who has a complaint or wants to make representation to a service provider (such as a registered child minder) or certain organisations (including any county council or health authority in Wales)
These laws also mean there are things we cannot do. We cannot:
- Become involved with any legal proceedings, including court cases and decisions made by CAFCASS Cymru
- Offer an emergency service
- Offer a counselling service ourselves
We make sure we keep the information you share with us private, unless we think a child or young person is unsafe – we then share the information with other organisations that can help protect the child.
If we need to share the information with other people that could help then we will tell you what we are doing and why we have decided to do it.
Our Investigation and Advice Officers follow the advice given in the Wales Safeguarding Procedures.
This paper explains our legal powers.
Whistleblowing is the term used when a worker passes on information concerning wrongdoing. The wrongdoing will typically (although not necessarily) be something they have witnessed at work.
To be covered by whistleblowing law, the disclosure must be a ‘qualifying disclosure’. This is any disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of the worker making the disclosure, is made in the public interest.
If you are concerned about suspected wrongdoing, danger or risk in your workplace (or your previous workplace) which affect the rights and interest of the children in Wales, you can make a disclosure to us. You do not have to tell your employer before contacting the us.
The Prescribed Persons Order 2014 sets out a list of over 60 organisations and individuals that a worker may approach outside their workplace to report suspected or known wrongdoing. The Children’s Commissioner for Wales is one of those organisations listed.