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Children’s Commissioner for Wales Annual Report & Accounts 2015/16

This report reflects my first year as Children’s Commissioner for Wales – I started on 20 April 2015 – and what an exciting and busy year it has been! As you would expect, I spent much of the year meeting and listening to thousands of children and young people in every corner of Wales and living in all sorts of circumstances. I have also listened to hundreds of parents and professionals about what I need to prioritise and ensured that the staff structure in place to help deliver the work was simplified and sustainable.

Beth Nesa’ | What Next was our biggest ever consultation of children and young people. Over 7000 respondents highlighted that very many children and young people in Wales lead safe, happy and active lives and feel listened to and respected by the adults around them. However, there are large groups of children who miss out in a variety of ways. Children are not on an even playing field in Wales and it is my job to identify the bumps and barriers in those playing fields that prevent
children becoming the best that they can be. Barriers include discrimination, lack of adequate services, not being listened to, and experiencing abuse and neglect. I will work tirelessly for the remaining six years of my term as commissioner to ensure that as many of those barriers as possible are dismantled.

Much of the work that my team and I have achieved in the last year is laid out in this report. I am very proud at the quality of materials we have produced for, and with children and young people, including: the ‘My Planner’ App for Care Leavers, the LGBT+ Young Person’s Media Guide, our report on School Journeys, and the results of our Beth Nesa’ | What Next Consultation. I am pleased to be able to report that again this year we have helped hundreds of children through our national, independent Advice and Support Service and that thousands of children have heard about children’s rights through our participation work. The hard work of my policy and public affairs team has led to several concrete changes in policy and legislation. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to speak up for Wales’s children in the National Assembly for Wales, at Westminster and in the United Nations in Geneva.