Time to Listen
This campaign was co-created with young people who have experienced life in the care system throughout Wales.
In partnership with young people, NYAS published a report which brings decision makers face to face with the experiences that children and young people across Wales have had within the care system.
The Listen If You Care report also includes practical recommendations to improve the lives of all children and young people across Wales.
Listen If You Care: The Facts
The core essence of this campaign is highlighting the voices of young people across Wales who have lived in the care system. We worked with children and young people across Wales to hear their experience of life in the care system:
- 45% of children and young people used negative words to describe their care experience
- 1 in 4 care-experienced children and young people described their time in care using indifferent language, such as ‘tolerable’ or ‘okay’.
- Only 30% of these children and young people described their experience in care using positive language
- 16% of children and young people identified having their voices heard as the top priority for the Welsh Parliament.
Amplifying Youth Voice: Listen If You Care Report
The report for this campaign was written by NYAS Cymru’s Young Person Advisory Group (YPAG). This is a group of young people aged between 13 and 25 who have experience living in the care system across Wales.
The YPAG informs the work and priorities of NYAS Cymru and regularly supports campaigns to amplify the voices of care-experienced young people.Read the Listen If You Care Report
Making a Difference
Many of the recommendations outlined in NYAS Cymru’s Listen if you Care report have now been embedded within the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government.
The Welsh Government’s commitment to collaborate constructively and proactively with the third sector is very encouraging. We hope that this attitude will provide many additional opportunities to make positive changes for care-experienced young people over the next five years.
However, Listen If You Care is not finished yet.
This campaign continues to present an opportunity for decision makers to understand the unique lived experiences of care-experienced children and young people.
The care-experienced children and young people who worked to shape this campaign have shared that they often feel overlooked and voiceless, with little say in the decisions that impact their lives.
With this in mind, we are proposing the following recommendations to the Welsh Government:
- Put children first by introducing a new role in the Welsh Government: Children’s Minister for Wales.
- Strengthen mental health and wellbeing by creating an active offer of independent advocacy for every child and young person who engages with mental health services.
- Protect missing children by making independent return interviews into a statutory requirement.
- Support unaccompanied asylum-seeking children by guaranteeing their right to access a trained independent Appropriate Adult.
- Defend children’s rights by incorporating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) directly into Welsh Law.
There isn’t enough peer led groups or support for young people who are going through care, they need their issues and voices heard
Naz, Age 17
I believe a lot of people feel like they do not have a voice, because they are being suppressed by those who are actually meant to be fighting their corner.
Henry, Age 19
The Listen If You Care Vision
This campaign report highlights the stark reality vulnerable children and young people face every day in Wales. Listen If You Care provides key recommendations that can empower these young people, and make sure their voices are heard.
Therefore, we want key decisions and policymakers to consider the priorities identified by care-experienced children and young people. In order to make a positive impact on the lives of children and young people living in the care system across Wales, the Welsh Parliament needs to truly listen to and empower their voices.