NYAS Cymru, the Welsh division of  NYAS, will play an integral role in the ministerial advisory group that has been established to improve outcomes for children and will oversee a £15 million investment from Welsh Government aimed at supporting families and reducing the need for children to enter care.

Announced this month by the Welsh Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies, the funding will be used to expand preventative and early intervention services to build on the support the Welsh Government and its partners are providing to families and children early on, so they are supported to stay together and fewer children need to go into care. The funding will also be available for those children and young people to have improved care experience.

According to the most recent Government figures, as at March 2017, there were 5,954 children in care in Wales, representing an increase of 5% on the previous year.

Representing NYAS Cymru on the ministerial advisory group, which comprises third sector organisations, local authorities and health representatives, will be Sharon Lovell, Director of NYAS Cymru. Sharon, along with other members of the group will help to steer the investment programme and ensure the funding is allocated to services and projects that will make a tangible difference to young people’s lives.

This latest initiative is part of the Welsh Government’s Improving Outcomes for Children programme, which see ministers applying a cross-Government and cross-sector approach to help fulfil their commitment to improve the lives of children in care.

Sharon Lovell, Director of NYAS Cymru said, “We look forward to working in partnership with our ministerial advisory group colleagues to ensure that this much-needed funding is used in the most effective and results-focused manner. The Welsh Government has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to supporting children and families at the edge of care, along with young people in care and this latest investment is yet more evidence of its desire to make a real difference and reduce the number of children needing to go into care in the first place. NYAS Cymru is proud to be playing a role in making this happen.

“NYAS Cymru is currently running a parental advocacy programme in Caerphilly where we’re training parents to advocate and support other parents, empowering them to be able to deal with issues before they escalate and get out of control. This type of preventative action can be a very effective way of strengthening family units at a grass-roots level and we look forward to taking our experience in this area and applying it as part of the ministerial advisory group to support families in Wales.