These are some of the projects we’ll be working on this year.
Analysing the effectiveness of Regional Partnership Boards
This project is about making sure that children and young people with complex needs through disability or illness (which includes mental illness) get the best possible care. Regional Partnership Boards (RPBs) were set up to make sure services such as health and social care work together to provide help that fits children’s needs.
There should be no ‘wrong door’ for children and young people who are looking for support. We think that some Regions have made good progress, but we worry that children aren’t getting the same experience everywhere.
We will be visiting each RPB this year, and challenging all of them to make sure that they are prioritising the needs of these children and young people.
Children’s rights in organisations
We’ll keep helping Welsh organisations to use The Right Way (TRW), a framework based on children’s rights to make services better for children and young people. We’ll work with public bodies including health boards, local authorities and the police to make sure children’s rights guide their work with children and young people.
There is a law in Wales that means all schools have to have a school council. Some school councils are an effective way to give children and young people a say in their school’s decision-making. But some schools councils are less effective. Our research shows that young people in secondary schools feel less able to participate in decision making than in other schools. This project aims to improve participation in secondary schools so that all young people in Wales experience their right to have their say.
Foundation Phase children’s rights scheme
This year we’ll pilot ‘Bitw Bach’, a children’s rights scheme for children in the foundation phase. We’ll create eight lesson plans based on children’s rights, focusing on the things children need to grow up happy, healthy and safe. Alongside the lesson plans will be guidance for teachers and nursery leaders as well as some tips for introducing rights in the classroom on a daily basis.
Children’s rights publication for parents
What are children’s rights? How do they apply in day-to-day life? We’re working on a publication for parents in Wales on children’s rights and why they’re important.
Mid-term report to UN
Along with the UK’s other children’s commissioners we’ll consider how well each country’s Government has responded to the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s last report. It was published in July 2016 and considered to what extent children’s rights are upheld in each nation.
As this year marks the half-way point between the UN’s last report and their next report, our mid-term report will provide a good opportunity to examine each nation’s progress so far.
Children’s rights in the digital environment – European conference
We’ll be supporting young people to represent Wales at the European Network of Young Advisers (ENYA) Forum 2019 in Brussels. Every year there is a conference on a particular issue that affects children and young people; this year’s theme is “Children’s Rights in the Digital Environment”.
ENYA brings young people from all over Europe together to have their say on this issue and to make their own recommendations to European Governments.
Behaviour and Inclusion
Through this project we’ll explore how schools in Wales are managing difficult and challenging behavior of children in foundation phase settings. We want to understand the extent of this problem in Wales, and how schools and local authorities are responding to this issue in a way that is keeping children safe, providing them with appropriate assessment and support and enabling them to have an education.
Scouts and guides
We’ll publish a new challenge this year to help scouts and guides learn more about their rights under the UNCRC.
Three year evaluation
We’ll evaluate our own work over the last three years, reflecting on what progress has been made against our recommendations and how we’ve promoted and raised awareness of children’s rights in Wales.
If you have any questions about these projects, please get in touch.