The Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Children and Young People – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has today (30 June) urged the Welsh Government to ‘place our children at the heart of its plans for economic recovery.’
Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Welsh waiting lists for youth mental health services were unacceptably long, and services that supported families and protected children from neglect were nearing breaking point.
Her calls come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his ‘new deal’, aimed to soften the economic impact of Coronavirus. This includes upgrades to schools and hospital facilities. Mrs Finch-Saunders has now urged the First Minister to ensure that the same ethos of ‘long-term investment’ is replicated in Wales, where these matters are devolved.
Speaking of the situation, Janet said:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has cast an uncomfortable shadow of uncertainty over our children’s future prospects. Almost overnight, the support networks that helped to nature our young people’s minds and kept their bodies healthy, were challenged to change or temporarily close.
“As we look towards a broader reopening of Welsh society, the Welsh Government must place our children at the heart of its plans for economic recovery and prioritise those support networks that allow our young people to flourish in a period of uncertainty.
“They must also seek to replicate the Prime Minister’s commitment to long-term investment in those facilities that will nurture and support the next generation by adopting an innovative, cross-sector plan.
“We cannot return to business as usual, where our young people were waiting far too long to access the support they need. For a bright future, Wales must equip its young people with the tools to thrive.”