NYAS Cymru has recently been awarded two grant applications for the continuation of funding for projects supporting young pregnant women in care or those who have children and parents in need of advocacy representation.
Our Parent Advocacy Programme will continue to support the existing Welsh Government’s plans for providing early intervention support, with the objective of reducing the numbers of children entering the care system in Wales, whilst Project Unity will continue to provide holistic and intensive wrap-around support to young and expectant mothers.
Our experience of delivering both projects thus far highlighted the lack of preparation and planning for young people in becoming parents: they often do not have the resources, accommodation or support networks. Through these projects, NYAS Cymru provides advocacy to help young and expectant mothers to receive one to one intensive support and access training, education and employment opportunities.
Both projects have established momentum and highlighted a demand for continuation: Project Unity enabled 20 children to remain in the care of their mother, with a further four expected to remain in their care following birth. This has been a direct impact of our support and intervention to empower and enable the young women to receive the right support and assistance. The young women involved in project Unity also help to run peer support groups and activities for other women within their communities, which helps to reduce isolation and loneliness.
NYAS Cymru also works holistically with parents with learning disabilities to resolve any issues, whilst minimising the impact on the child and improving the wellbeing of both the child and parents. By providing advocacy services and peer parenting support at an early stage, the focus is on early intervention and prevention, whilst ensuring the safeguarding of the child and the protection of vulnerable adults.
NYAS Cymru’s National Director Sharon Lovell said “I am delighted that through the Welsh Governments Social Services Sustainability Grant, NYAS Cymru will be extending our provision for young pregnant care experienced women and women with children across the whole of Wales. This will ensure intensive advocacy wrap-around support can be achieved to enable families to stay together whenever safe and possible to do so.
“We will be working with young women whose children are at risk of entering the care system, and uphold their rights and entitlements as well as ensuring young women are at the heart of the planning of our work through participation and engagement. Alongside this, we will run a gender equality conference each year for young people in Wales on healthy relationships, staying safe and sexual health.
“We are also thrilled our Advocacy for Parents has been extended for PAN Gwent. This service will ensure parents in need of care and support will be able to access advocacy intervention at the time they need it the most.”
Both projects will ensure a continual decrease in the numbers of children and young people accessing the care system through early intervention and intensive support. NYAS is committed to giving all parents the same opportunities to raise their children with support and advocacy to achieve the best possible outcome.