Vulnerable Youngsters 'In State of Crisis'

Article excerpt

Byline: By David Williamson Western Mail

A major report last night threw a spotlight on the misery many young people in Wales experience daily. Written by Save the Children and other independent bodies, it said, "It remains a national disgrace that 28% of children in Wales live in poverty; that looked-after children experience such poor outcomes; that disabled children are distressed that they are not taken seriously and have trouble accessing services that they desperately need; that gipsy traveller children frequently experience racist bullying and they have the poorest life expectancy of any ethnic group and that children's mental health services, so vital to support the many vulnerable groups of children and young people, are in a state of crisis."

The report, Stop, look, listen: the road to realising children's rights in Wales, assesses Wales' success at meeting the standards of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It states, "Children in Wales and the rest of the UK can still be legally hit and hurt; and the UK has the highest rate of incarcerating children in western Europe."

The "crisis" in mental health provision is a particular concern.

It recommends the Welsh Assembly Government, health services and others should:

Give mental health services more money so that vulnerable children have access to better information, support and trained staff. …