A fair deal for young people in Wales

Posted by / Tuesday 12 July 2016 /
Fair deal Wales - Diana Isajeva, Rebecca Evans AM and Chloe Thomas

Action for Children – Gweithredu dros Blant launched its key financial inclusion report, A Fair Deal for Young People in Wales, at a special event in Ty Hywel at the National Assembly in Cardiff Bay on Wednesday 13th July

Young people who use Action for Children services across Wales addressed the audience on the financial difficulties they’ve faced as the Welsh Government prepares to deliver its financial inclusion strategy.

The report calls on the Welsh Government to ensure that vulnerable young people are given the financial skills they need to live independently and successfully. Central to the report’s findings is the importance of young people being involved at an early stage so that the solution is most effective at meeting their needs.

"My life was a huge struggle. I was 18 and living in a women’s refuge. I was studying for my A levels at the time and aiming for university, but everything around me was pilling up. I had no clue about how to pay bills and was even paying for a TV licence when I didn’t own one. I felt all alone and had no family to help. The refuge referred me to the RCT youth support service as I was a young person in need of desperate help and Diane has been the best support I have ever had."

Fair deal Wales event- Bethan Jenkins AM address

A Fair Deal for Young People in Wales will also urge the Welsh Government to carefully consider that not all vulnerable young people attend school regularly and consistently due to a variety of circumstances, but need financial skills earlier than their peers. 

Researchers spoke to 25 young people while compiling the report and they told the charity that they want financial information from people they can trust at key moments such as applying for a tenancy or receiving benefits advice.

"The children and young people we support are firmly at the centre of our report. The interviews and group work conducted for the report, and those young people we will hear from at the Assembly, will provide a critical insight into the challenging world they face as they cross that difficult bridge into adulthood. It is up to all of us to listen, learn and develop policies to help prevent routine financial issues turning into full blown crises"

Brigitte Gater, Director of children’s services in Wales

Those interviewed pointed to the important role played by staff working in the community, such as Action for Children’s Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) Youth Support Team. It builds trusting relationships with disadvantaged young people and helps them with a variety issues such as finding employment, helping with tenancy agreements and a range of life skills.

"We are living in uncertain political and economic times. It is now more important than ever that we give the most vulnerable young people the financial skills they need as they enter such a challenging time in their development. The Welsh Government has committed to changing the lives of young people with its financial inclusion strategy, but it is critical that they encourage those with financial expertise to fully engage with this group to develop solutions and provide the right support."

Brigitte Gater, Director of children’s services in Wales

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