NYAS is celebrating after securing two new contracts that will enable it to support thousands of vulnerable children in Wales.

The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS), one of the leading providers of independent advocacy in Wales, has been awarded two large regional contracts to deliver a range of services to children and young people across South East Wales. The first contract covers Caerphilly, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Monmouthshire and Aneurin Bevin University Health Board, with the second covering the  Vale of Glamorgan and  Cardiff Councils.

Under the contracts, NYAS advocates will provide independent advocacy to children and young people in care, in need or leaving care across the regions of Gwent, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. The charity will also deliver the Independent Visitor service in the area to ensure children and young people are matched with a volunteer when they are at their most vulnerable.

Sharon Lovell, Director of NYAS Wales said that these services are crucial to ensure that the wishes and feelings of vulnerable children and young people are considered.

Ms Lovell said: “NYAS has been operating in Wales for 15 years – working to ensure that the most vulnerable children in Welsh society are represented. The children we help might be in care, have a disability, be subject to child protection plans, have a mental health difficulty or their parents might be separating.

“NYAS advocates work with children to ensure their views are expressed when decisions are being made about them. Our advocates listen to the views of children in care and ensure they are taken seriously and are given the right information and support.”

NYAS has a long history of working with Welsh Government to design and implement a national advocacy approach for Wales to ensure that the most vulnerable children are given access to advocacy services.

Ms Lovell said: “NYAS is committed to ensuring that every vulnerable child in Wales has access to an advocate. Our charity is delighted that through Welsh Government funding, all children coming into care for the first time and those who are subject to a child protection conference for the first time, will be actively offered advocacy.

“This is a proactive and vital step towards ensuring that the wishes and feelings of those in care are always heard. It is also proof that the Welsh Government has made seismic institutional change following high profile historic cases which revealed systematic care failings.”