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Summary of meeting

1. Welcome and Introductions

Attendees were welcomed to the meeting.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the last meeting of 8 June were agreed.

3. Update

Updates were provided on:

Safeguarding Processes - following engagement with stakeholders it was agreed that a Practice Guide, as part of the Wales Safeguarding Procedures (WSP) should be drafted.

Provision of parenting support provided in conjunction with an Out of Court Disposal (OOCD) - The Minister for Health and Social Services and the Deputy Minister for Social Services have approved:

Funding of up to £500,000 in this financial year (2021/22) for Local Authorities to prepare to deliver tailored parenting support in relation to the Children Wales Act; and

Indicative funding of up to £810,000 per annum for 3 years from April 2022 to provide tailored parenting support.

4. Young People under 18

The arrangements for young parents under 18 in relation to the Children Wales Act were considered.

5. Visitors to Wales

The Children Wales Act will apply to those in the territorial limits of Wales, including visitors to Wales.

Welsh Government are doing as much as possible to raise awareness about the change in the law including visitors; for example an Ending Physical Punishment advertising van visited key tourism destinations across Wales in summer 2021. This was in conjunction with other out of home advertising such as in service stations, bus advertising and Adshel panel advertising – such as those on bus shelters. Digital adverts will also target visitors to Wales, amongst other audiences. Targeted England based media were also provided with a press notice about the change in the law to help reach visitors to Wales.

For cases where a visitor to Wales commits an offence it is expected that police and social services would follow the same processes as they would now when considering allegations of assault on a child.

6. Those acting in loco parentis

Anyone who has responsibility for a child whilst the parent is absent is considered to be acting ‘in loco parentis’. In the case of those who are caring for children in unregulated settings, e.g. a group or a club, once the Children Wales Act comes into force it will remove a legal loophole, meaning that the defence of reasonable punishment can no longer be used by individuals in these settings. Many of these groups or clubs are members of overarching governing bodies who provide direction on safeguarding procedures and policies. The Wales Safeguarding Procedures set out the safeguarding requirements for practitioners or 'those in a position of trust', such as those running these unregulated clubs or groups.

7. Next steps

Date of next meeting - TBA