by promocymru_admin | 14th Jun 2013
MEIC attended the Welsh Government advocacy conference “Putting the Pieces Together”. The conference was opened by Albert Heaney, the recently appointed Welsh Government’s Director of Social Services, Children and Families.
He praised the establishment of the MEIC helpline and said that advocacy was vital to the safeguarding of children and young people. He announced that Mike Shooter would be the chair of the advocacy expert group and that Voices from Care would form the young people’s expert group. This was followed by a speech from the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Keith Towler, who spoke about his Missing Voices report into advocacy provision. He recognised that advocacy still had some way to go to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children and young people but acknowledged that that there was a lot of goodwill to put this right.
He also said that advocacy was a right not a luxury and that he wants children and young people to have access to advocacy support whenever they need it. The conference also heard from a young person who spoke about his own personal experience of advocacy and how vital it was to help him through the leaving care process. The rest of the day consisted of workshops around different aspects of advocacy.
MEIC staff attended workshops around working together to ensure the voice of the child was heard and looking at good practice examples across the local authorities and advocacy providers in Wales.