In this section
Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - The Draft Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill »We are committed to ensuring that out-of-control and dangerous dogs are dealt with effectively.Learn more »
Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has given a clear message to NHS managers to take action in response to the recent NHS Wales staff survey
- Minister supports International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
- Porth Eirias set to be major North Wales attraction
- Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
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- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
In this section
Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
National minimum standards for regulated child care »These standards determine whether child minding and day care settings are providing adequate care for children under the age of 8.Learn more »
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Repealing air quality ‘Further Assessments’ from Part IV of the Environment Act 1995
- Equality Impact Assessment of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Plan for Wales
- Consultation on the Equality Impact Assessments for the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes in Wales
- Development of a national standards and outcomes framework for Children and Young People's advocacy services in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
30 days left
In this section
Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Services for Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Wales
In our debate on the Queen’s Speech in December, the First Minister set out the Government’s intention to make a statement about public services for asylum seekers in Wales, putting on record the approach that we have adopted and the practical actions that we are taking. That is what I intend to do now.
The arrangements that govern the entry of asylum seekers and refugees into the United Kingdom are the responsibility of the Westminster Government, as are the processes that determine the outcome of applications to remain in this country thereafter. Not all of you will be happy with every aspect of these policies, but responsibilities that are exercised elsewhere are not the focus of this statement. Rather, my intention is to set out the duties that fall to the Assembly and the exercise of those duties by the Welsh Assembly Government.
My starting point, and that of my Cabinet colleagues, is that the measure of social justice in society is judged by how it treats its weakest members—those who have the least, and who need the help of others most. Wales has a proud tradition of welcoming those who are dispossessed, and of standing up for those who have suffered oppression. Many Members will remember the wonderful Paul Robeson exhibition during the first Assembly, which set out the cultural and political links through which Wales was able to support the struggle for justice for black people in the United States of America during the inter-war years and since. That sense of justice is even more important when applied to people living in our own shores. The public services that matter to individuals and to families that come to Wales as refugees or asylum seekers lie in the Assembly’s hands. The Assembly Government has been determined to provide these services in a way that recognises and responds to the particular needs of refugees and asylum seekers.
I will set out the actions that we have taken in housing, education and health, to realise this underlying commitment. It was because of the need for practical measures that I established an all-Wales refugee policy forum in November 2003. The forum is made up of senior-level decision makers and key stakeholders from across Wales. Its aims include assisting refugees and asylum seekers to integrate successfully in Wales and promoting positive images of refugees and asylum seekers as members of Welsh society. If we are to be successful in this work, we need to begin it early, and education is vital. That is why we have made available funding totalling £2.1 million in 2003-04 to local education authorities in Wales that provide educational services to asylum seekers and their children. This is the third year that the Assembly Government has provided such additional financial aid, and it demonstrates our continued commitment to the integration of refugees and asylum seekers in Wales.
We know from incidents in Wales and further afield that housing policies have a direct and substantial impact on the chances of successful integration between newcomers and local populations. Our housing directorate has already undertaken several initiatives to assist refugees and asylum seekers to overcome barriers to integration through the homelessness housing grant programme, the black and minority ethnic housing grant programme, and the housing sub-group of the all-Wales refugee policy forum. Later this month, we plan to issue guidance for consultation covering asylum law, the current system of dispersal and good practice in delivering services, as well as considering measures to help the effective integration of asylum seekers who are granted refugee status.
On health policy, the NHS directorate provides funding for refugees and asylum seekers and runs the Welsh Refugee and Asylum Seekers Advisory Group. One of the main aims of this group is to draw attention to the issues facing asylum seekers and refugees, in particular, tackling the language barriers that they face when accessing health services. The health inequalities fund provides direct support in this field, working with local communities to improve our response to health problems that have a particular impact on black and minority ethnic populations. The Barefoot health workers project in Cardiff bay, for example, is helping primary care teams to help individuals to reduce their risk of heart disease. The project has engaged successfully with the Afro-Caribbean, Pakistani and wider Muslim communities. It is giving them a voice on how health services can be improved to meet their needs.
People seeking asylum in Wales are a positive asset. Opposition parties here regularly refer to the need to recruit more staff to the health service. In September 2002, the Welsh Asylum Seekers and Refugee Doctors group received Assembly Government funding for a re-qualification programme for refugee doctors. To date, 31 doctors who are refugees or asylum seekers have been identified in Wales, and the programme has already begun to produce staff, who have taken up posts in the health service. Indeed, these schemes have been so successful that work has commenced on considering the needs and requirements of other health professionals in Wales who are refugees or asylum seekers. Two dentists, three nurses and one physiotherapist have already been identified. The Assembly Government is delighted to be associated with this effort to make the most of the skills and abilities that asylum seekers and refugees can bring to Wales, and is determined to help fast-track such individuals into constructive and productive roles for the good of the whole of society.
I am happy to be able to report the good work that is currently being taken forward by National Assembly departments in relation to asylum seekers and refugees. It is challenging stereotypes, misinformation and the hysteria that far too often surrounds discussion on asylum policy.
The Government is working towards making a real difference to the lives of refugees and asylum seekers throughout their journey from being displaced people to being full and valued members of the Welsh community. I am proud of the actions that we have taken and proud to be a member of a Government that is determined to recognise the basic human rights of everyone who lives in Wales, and to make social justice the bedrock of all that we set out to achieve.