MS calls for support of North Wales family justice pilot

November 25, 2021 - 287 views

The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy, Janet Finch-Saunders MS, has urged the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution to engage with work being undertaken by the North Wales Local Family Justice Board as a means of helping to address the “looked after children crisis” in Wales. 

The North Wales pilot scheme offers integrated support and information for separating parents and their children, with the hub helping to identify the appropriate “pathway” for each family. 

Commenting after her question, Mrs. Finch-Saunders said:  “Having worked actively to help address the issue of looked after children across multiple Senedd terms, I was pleased to have received a Written Statement from the Counsel General in September confirming that family justice would be a key area of focus for his tenure. 

“Presently, there are around 7,170 looked after children in Wales, which is 1.14% of children and uncomfortably sits above the current UK average which is 0.72% of children. This is having a very real and detrimental impact on many families in Wales and deserves urgent, proactive action. 

“I am aware that the North Wales Local Family Justice Board is one of two pathfinder areas taking part in a pilot programme to test and evaluate a revised Child Arrangements Programme. 

“Therefore, as part of his focus on this area, I have urged the Counsel General to engage with this work and possibly look to support the replication of such pilot schemes elsewhere in Wales.” 

On average around 4,300 cases a week are heard in the family courts in England and Wales – adding up to a total of 224,902 last year.