Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Social Services
Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice
Today we are publishing an All Wales Protocol that promotes practice to reduce the criminalisation of care experienced children (up to 18 years) and young adults (18 to 25 years).
Reducing the criminalisation of children in care and care leavers: all Wales protocol
The protocol is for both devolved and non-devolved organisations in Wales and is jointly published with the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. We are grateful for the work of the multi-agency Steering Group that has informed the development of this important advice.
We have a responsibility to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of every care experienced child and young person and to enable them to achieve their ambitions. These responsibilities extend into early adulthood.
We have already made significant strides in reducing the criminalisation of children and young people in Wales. However, although the vast majority of children who are care experienced do not get involved with the justice system, where this does happen, we need to make sure that we continue to fulfil our obligations to them.
The protocol will help those who come into contact with care experienced children and young adults while carrying out their work, in sharing a common framework of principles and expectations informed by an approach that actively promotes children’s rights and which safeguards and promotes their wellbeing.
The Welsh Government will work with partners to support the implementation of the protocol and to secure better outcomes for care experienced children and young adults in Wales.