How young people can get their money’s worth in Wales

Posted by Danielle Cope / Friday 23 December 2016 / Cost of living Financial education
sam_2972-590

This time last year, we were trying to tackle the elephant in the room. Money problems affect all of the work that we do with young people, but the Welsh Government wasn’t doing much about it.

bethan-jenkins-2

Without the knowledge or the skills, the life experience or the parental support, money worries are like an elephant for many of the most vulnerable: intimidating and over-bearing. 

So if you’re trying to improve a care leaver’s wellbeing? Forget it. That elephant’s just too big to ignore.

But... Can you see what I see? 

You don’t need to look hard to notice, the elephant has gone! So “where has the elephant gone now?” I hear you ask.

fair-deal-wales-event-bethan-jenkins-am-address

Well, firstly we spoke to

  • practitioners
  • young parents
  • looked after children
  • care leavers
  • homeless young people

to find out about their money issues and the help that they need. 

Then… we responded to a consultation and helped the Welsh Government to update its Financial Inclusion Strategy, so that everyone in Wales can become financially capable.

fair-deal-wales-diana-isajeva-rebecca-evans-am-and-chloe-thomas

As a result…  

  • The Welsh Government recognised the complex needs of the most vulnerable people and agreed to address their issues specifically. 
  • They recognised that young people need help at ‘teachable moments’ (like setting up a home for the first time) from people they can trust, and that support workers are uniquely able to offer this.  

Then… we called on the Welsh Government to make sure that the agencies young people come into contact with

  • housing
  • education
  • social services

are all able to get them the support they need, when they need it.

Pic

And…

We invited young people to share their money worries with politicians, to encourage them to consider the real-life experiences of vulnerable young people and the help that’s needed. 

Young people from our services spoke about the financial challenges they’ve been faced with and explained how they overcame them – to the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children!

As a result….  

The Welsh Government asked us to sit on the Financial Inclusion Delivery Group and to develop a plan to support young people!

dsc_2682

So…

The Welsh Government has now promised to:

  • Develop brand new initiatives for parents, families, children and young people that will increase their financial capability
  • Train front-line staff so that they can provide the most up-to-date information and resources for the young people they work with
  • Develop local and regional networks of information and advice providers, which will include our front-line staff

We worked hard to make sure that the Welsh Government sees what we see.

We made sure that the Welsh Government recognised and acted on the financial needs of the most vulnerable young people. Money worry is no longer the elephant in the room when it comes to young people’s policy in Wales.

And together, with the outstanding support provided by our service managers and practitioners and most of all, young people, we will help vulnerable young people to overcome their own elephant in the room.

Join the conversation.

Find out how you can become a campaigner, stay up to date with our latest tweets and join in the discussion on our blog.