In a groundbreaking new approach, the Deputy Minister has created “citizen panels” that will give the users and carers involved in social services a voice in the important strategic decisions taken at an all-Wales level.
The Deputy Minister launched the new citizen panels at a training course being offered by Cardiff University's childhood research group to members and staff of Voices from Care Cymru.
Voices From Care is a charity that promotes the interests of children and young people in the care system. The organisation has a member on the panel.
The Deputy Minister said:
"I was delighted to formally launch the Citizen Panels and it was a great opportunity to speak to young people from Voices From Care. Supporting young people who are in or leaving care is of the utmost importance to me and it was so valuable to hear the thoughts of those who have real experience with the care system.
“I want citizens to have a strong voice, to be able to influence decision making at every level. That is why I have put in place citizen panels that will play a vital role in influencing and driving forward the implementation of Sustainable Social Services for Wales.
“In 2011 I set up a partnership forum which brings all the major stakeholders in social services together. Now the forum and I will be able to listen to the experiences and views of the most important people, the citizens who rely on these services every day. We want to know about what matters to them.”