Response to Welsh Government consultation on suicide and self-harm prevention

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The Fostering Network Wales has submitted its response to the Welsh Government’s consultation Talk to me 2: Draft Suicide and Self Harm Prevention Strategy and Action Plan for Wales, where we have set out the specific needs of children and young people in care and care leavers, and the importance of working with foster carers in addressing suicide and self-harm.

Our response sets out the value of the third sector in working in collaboration with wider public services to support and assist them, and their foster carers, in undertaking consultations with hard to reach groups.

In summary The Fostering Network Wales has called for:

•    A specific part of the strategy to focus on looked after children and care leavers;
•    Training and support for those who work with looked after children and care leavers,  and specifically foster carers;
•    A strong emphasis on cross sector collaboration to deliver support and services in line with SSWB Act (Advocacy, information, advice and assistance);
•    Specific Wales based research to be undertaken to enable a greater understanding of the issues and challenges in Wales to inform practice and policy;
•    Consultation with looked-after-children and care leavers to inform implementation;
•    Development of specific training and practice resources for the looked-after-children and care leavers population.

Dr Emily Warren, director of The Fostering Network Wales, said: “The emotional wellbeing of children and young people in care should be at the forefront of our minds when looking to the future.

“Supporting suicide prevention for children and young people in care, and care leavers, should be an important element of the Government’s agenda and The Fostering Network is keen to support ongoing improvement to this vital work.”

You can view our consultation response on our website.