The emerging social policy context in Wales is one which is based on the distinctive features of the country. Taking account of history, culture, the socio-demographic of the Welsh population, current levels of social capital and social problems, as well a s a vision of what is possible and achievable in terms of future ambitions, the Welsh Assembly Government has set out its plans and strategies for Wales. Underpinning these plans and strategies is a strong commitment to social inclusion, consultation and participation; all of which are set in a framework which is avowedly pro active and positive in its objectives.
Central to these strategies is ‘A Plan For Wales’ which highlights nine key themes:
- The development of a safer and more inclusive society where everyone has the chance to fulfil his or her potential
- The promotion of a culture in which diversity is valued and equality of opportunity a reality;
- A community-led approach to finding local solutions
- An integrated approach that makes the link between health, employment, skills, communities and other policy areas
- Building equality of opportunity in everything we do.
- Championing the rights of children and young people in ways that reflect the Assembly’s responsibilities in full
- Promotion locally determined partnerships in every local authority area to ensure support for children and young people
- Encouraging constructive play, voluntary sector initiatives and out of school activities through the provision of grant support to local partnerships.
- Creating comprehensive services for young people offering opportunities, advice and support to help them achieve their aims and aspirations.
WAG’s ‘A Plan For Wales 2001 therefore, sets out a positive agenda for change. The Welsh Assembly Government has moved away from the problem oriented, negative and controlling emphasis which characterises much wider policy towards young people, and has instead established a policy framework that embodies a positive view of young people and of what can be done to achieve the vision of a better Wales.