A report on looked-after children raises more questions than answers, says Laura Anne Jones MS, the Shadow Minister for Children and Young People. Some 7,170 children were classed as “looked after” at March 31, 2020 compared with 6,835 in 2019, and Ms Jones commented:
“The figures show a rise in looked-after children of nearly five percent, but since 2005, the numbers have increased by 63 percent [up from 4,390 in 2005]. Just what is happening in our country that this can be the case?
“Also, the scope of this report doesn’t take into account the pandemic and lockdowns have had on the picture in Wales. So much has changed that the situation demands an interim report from, say, April 1 to September 30, 2020.
“The reasons for children becoming ‘looked after’ are always complex, and the Labour Minister must provide an urgent explanation to the Senedd and the people of Wales on this, because all the evidence shows that the life chances of looked-after children and care leavers are significantly poorer than children are not in care. We owe it to them to find answers.”