The Welsh children’s commissioner has attacked advocacy provision for children in the country as patchy, unstable and of questionable independence.
The criticisms come in Peter Clarke’s 2005 annual report, which lambasted the Welsh assembly government for failing to make progress since his 2003 report on advocacy.
Advocacy services were often commissioned by councils on a year-by-year basis, making advocates overly dependent on councils and hampering their independence, said the annual report.
The commissioner added that he was “at a loss” as to why the Welsh government had not pursued his previous recommendations “more vigorously”.
The report also raised concerns over the placement of Welsh children detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 outside the country, describing it as a “disgrace that sick young people have to be placed far from home”. It also called for child and adolescent mental health services to be available to all 16- to 18-year-olds, not just those in full-time education, as at present.