NYAS Cymru (National Youth Advocacy Service) attended Welsh Parliament on five occasions at the beginning of 2023 to provide professional evidence and enable politicians to hear directly from care-experienced children and young people.

The Children, Young People and Education Committee is holding an inquiry to scrutinise the Programme for Government Commitment to ‘explore radical reform of current services for children looked after and care leavers.’

The Committee was set up by the Senedd (Welsh Government) to look at policy and legislation, and to hold the Welsh Government to account in specific areas. The priorities for radical reform fall in the three stages of the care system:

  • Before care: Safely reducing the number of children in the care system;
  • In care: Quality services and support children in care; and
  • After care: On-going support when young people leave care.

NYAS Cymru attended five sessions held over two weeks, all of which looked at the ongoing issues that occur before, during and after time in care.



The session details are as follows:

26th January 2023 – Before Care: Service User representation

This session was represented by members of the Project Unity team, who offer intensive support, opportunities, education, and training to care-experienced pregnant women and young mothers up to the age of 25 across Wales. We also supported four young mothers to attend and share their views. One parent and the Project Coordinator of our Parent Advocacy service, Ruth Bowden, were also in attendance; this is a service offered by NYAS Cymru to support families dealing with social services, or with additional parental support needs.

26th January 2023 – Before Care: Professional round table

NYAS Cymru feel that Welsh Government should create a national action plan to reduce the disproportionate number of children entering care with care-experienced parents. The intergenerational pattern needs to be broken, and Nadia Lovell, Service Manager for Parent Advocacy, alongside Helen Perry, Service Manager for Project Unity, represented NYAS Cymru on this issue.


2nd February 14, 2023 – In Care (Professionals and Academics)

NYAS Cymru was selected among a number of organisations to provide further evidence on the ongoing issues faced by children and young people in care. As an organisation with children and young people at the heart of all that we do, NYAS Cymru believe Welsh Government should completely ban all forms of unregulated accommodation, guaranteeing that children in care are cared for where they live. From NYAS Cymru, Elly Jones, Operations Manager and Candice Lloyd, Service Manager, were chosen to represent the organisation.


2nd February 14, 2023 – Formal and Oral Evidence

Sharon Lovell, CEO NYAS Cymru, and Ben Twomey, Director of Policy and Communications, represented NYAS, and provided compelling evidence on the harm that is caused by current unregulated accommodation, as well as the importance of providing an independent return interview for children and young people who have been missing.


8th February, 2023 – Leaving Care Oral Evidence

Representing NYAS Cymru, Daljit Kaur Morris, Operations Manager and Helen Perry, Service Manager for Project Unity spoke about the importance of making independent visitors part of the leaving care offer to young people. Following the success of the basic income pilot launched in July 2022 to support care leavers financially, NYAS Cymru are calling for Welsh Government to extend the basic income pilot to all care leavers up to 25 years old, after evaluating the project early.

Following the evidence gathering stage, the Committee will produce a short report in Spring 2023 containing top line policy areas for reform. NYAS hopes that the key areas that were proposed in the Senedd Sessions will be seriously considered.


You can read more about the Committee here.