Huw Lewis will make the announcement during his speech at the Welsh launch of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion 2010. More than 100 people, mainly those who are experiencing poverty and social exclusion, will attend the event in Swansea.
The new pioneer areas will demonstrate innovative work and best practice in their efforts to support families, so that learning can be rapidly identified and shared on an all-Wales basis. We will work closely with local authorities and other partner organisations in these areas to identify effective joined-up working.
The Deputy Minister said:
“Lifting children out of poverty is my priority and to do that we need new and innovative ways of working with and supporting families in Wales so that we can make a real difference to their lives.
“I know that this work is not without its challenges – not least because of the difficult financial situation that we find ourselves in. But this is about ensuring that our investment to support families is being delivered in the most economic, efficient and effective way possible.
”The focus on families must be relentless and rigorous. It must put the family at the centre of service delivery for children and young people, and we must focus on the individual needs of families. This approach was laid out clearly in our Child Poverty Strategy which I launched for consultation last month.”
The Deputy Minister added:
“There can be no more important social issue than the fight against poverty and social exclusion which blights the lives and life chances of so many of our citizens in Wales.
“For children here – 32 per cent are living in poverty – and whilst this figure has fallen by 4 per cent in the last ten years, tackling poverty remains a fundamental aim of the Assembly Government.
“I therefore welcome the European Year 2010 activities that are taking place across the UK to raise public awareness of the importance of combating poverty and social exclusion, for personal, social and economic development.
“We also welcome this opportunity to highlight, showcase and share our policies and initiatives that have been successful in tackling poverty and social exclusion.”