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Committing to support young residents IN A FULL COUNCIL meeting

on Wednesday (Jan 25), Members of Ceredigion County Council affirmed their commitment to support young citizens and to place them at the centre of the council’s decision-making processes. Members resolved to adopt

the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to demonstrate the council’s commitment to support and respect the county’s young citizens. The UNCRC is a legally binding

international agreement setting out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities. Although both the UK and Welsh Governments have committed to the UNCRC at a national level, many of the services which have the biggest day-to-day impact on the lives of young people are planned and delivered at a much more local level, often by local authorities, which is why Ceredigion County Council has pledged to make this commitment. The council will be obliged to

take account of the UNCRC when making any political decisions, and to ensure that any decisions taken at senior officer level are compliant with the convention. The UNCRC will also have to be borne in mind when forming or reviewing any policies or strategies guiding council business. Members also agreed to adopt

the Welsh Government’s National Standards for Children and Young People’s Participation to ensure that children and young people’s voices are heard by the council. As such, young residents have

the opportunity to engage in council business through Ceredigion’s recently-formed Youth Council, which is administered by the County Council’s Youth Service. Cabinet recently decided to take the views of

the Youth Council into consideration as part of the new report template, and any issues raised by the Youth Council will also be borne in mind when preparing forward work programmes. Cllr Hag Harris, Cabinet Member

for Learning Services, Children and Young People’s Partnership, said: “Adopting both the National Standards of Participation and the UNCRC will help Ceredigion County Council to consider children and young people in all the important decisions that it makes, and how those decisions impact on our youth.” He added: “Even though the

Youth Council was only fairly recently established, its members have provided excellent and mature contributions to lively discussions to ensure that the voice of young people in Ceredigion is not ignored. It is in this spirit that the County Council has reaffirmed its commitment to the county’s young residents, and I look forward to see the influence that they will have on the County Council’s work.” Sally Holland, Children’s

Commissioner for Wales, said: “As Children’s Commissioner for Wales, I aspire to see a Wales where all children and young people have an equal chance to be the best that they can be. Children in Wales have the right to receive the services or resources they need to be healthy, well-educated and to develop to the best of their abilities under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). I am delighted that Ceredigion County Council have taken up the challenge I posed to councils earlier this year and are formally adopting the UNCRC to deliver a Children’s Rights Approach to public services, placing the UNCRC at the core of planning and service provision for children.”

11 News Elder abuse study launched

(L-R): Professor Alan Clarke, Co-Principal Investigator; Sarah Wydall, Senior Research Fellow and Co-Principal Investigator; and Professor John Williams, Co-Principal Investigator on the project


UNIVERSITY research project on elder abuse held its Cardiff launch meeting on Wednesday (Jan 25). The Dewis|Choice event will

be addressed by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Sarah Rochira, who has been a consistent supporter of the project. Based in Aberystwyth Law

School’s Centre for the Study of Ageing, Abuse and Neglect, the Choice project is aimed at uncovering the often hidden problem of elder abuse in later life. It will also focus on exploring

welfare and justice opportunities, including civil, criminal and restorative approaches. A Choice Support Worker has been appointed to engage with older

people in the City of Cardiff who are victims of abuse by family members in their own home. Carmel Boston, a qualified

Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advisor, is based in the Cardiff offices of Safer Wales, a charity which has been working with victims of domestic abuse for the past 20 years. Professor Alan Clarke from the

Choice project said: “This event in Cardiff marks another new phase in the progression of this all-important area of research. As our support worker Carmel Boston starts working with clients in the coming months, we will be able to gather evidence from evolving case studies to inform our future findings and policy recommendations.

“Raising awareness of elder

abuse within communities is a key element of the Choice project and we hope to extend our reach beyond Cardiff by appointing a second Support Worker to work in Carmarthenshire.” The Choice project also works

closely with the City of Cardiff Council, Carmarthenshire County Council, Age Cymru, Dyfed-Powys Police, South Wales Police, Hafan Cymru and Welsh Women’s Aid. Choice is a multi-disciplinary

project involving both lawyers, criminologists and film makers at Aberystwyth University. The £1.3m research project

on Elder Abuse and Justice was awarded £890,000 grant by the Big Lottery Fund in 2015.

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