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We want more children supported to remain with their families with fewer children and young people entering care.

First published:
1 December 2023
Last updated:

Our vision

Our vision for children’s services in Wales is clear – we want more children supported to remain with their families with fewer children and young people entering care. We want the time that young people stay in care to be as short as possible, consistent with meeting the needs of the young person.

While children are in care, we want them to remain close to home so they can continue to be part of their community – the child’s network.

Programme for Government

Our Programme for Government contains 8 commitments which provide the framework to transform children’s services:

  • explore radical reform of current services for looked after children and care leavers
  • eliminate private profit from the care of looked after children during the next Senedd term
  • fund regional residential services for children with complex needs ensuring their needs are met as close to home as possible and in Wales wherever practicable
  • strengthen public bodies in their role as ‘corporate parent’
  • prevent families breaking up by funding advocacy services for parents whose children are at risk of coming into care
  • provide additional specialist support for children with complex needs who may be on the edge of care
  • continue to support and uphold the rights of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people
  • support our national Fostering Wales scheme

Making these commitments happen:

  • will effect change across the whole system in Wales
  • aligns to the aims and objectives in our Children and Young People’s Plan

The commitments and the plan will be delivered over this whole Senedd term.

Our roadmap

To support our transformation programme we have a budget of around £70 million from 2022 to 2025. We are using this money to work on the following plans.

July 2022

December 2022

  • Care Experienced Summit.
  • Analysis of Recommendations from Review of Special Guardianship Orders.

April 2023

  • Special Guardianship Expert Group established.
  • Commencement of Parental Advocacy National Rollout.

June 2023

September 2023

December 2023

  • New National Practice Framework.
  • Shared Learning Event – models of successful virtual schools.

April 2024

  • Harmonisation of fees and allowances for foster carers.
  • Strengthened Corporate Parenting Statutory Guidance.
  • Consideration of National roll-out of Family Drug and Alcohol Courts.

April 2026

  • Elimination of profit: new entrants to the market will be required to be not-for-profit organisations.


A Ministerial Oversight Board manages the transformation programme. The Board met for the first time in May 2023. The Board is jointly chaired by the First Minister and Deputy Minister for Social Services.

A Transformation Delivery Group includes representatives from across sectors with an interest in children’s services including care experienced young people themselves.