What now for the Children’s Commissioner?
In October 2018 over 10,000 children, young people and adults took part in the Beth Nawr | What Now national survey conducted by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Professor Sally Holland, and her team. Children and young people were asked what worried and concerned them about their lives and to identify what they would like to see the Commissioner prioritise in her work.
6,902 children aged between 7 and 11 told the Commissioner that they worry about schoolwork and tests (42 percent), bullying (40 percent) and family problems, including parental separation (27 percent). Some children (38 percent) also told the Commissioner that they had asked their parents to stop using their smartphones in their presence.
The 2,300 young people aged between 11 and 18 that took part in the survey reported that they were worried about schoolwork and exams (45 percent), life after school (40 percent) and the way they look, as well as mental health and well-being (28 percent).
Additionally, 585 professionals working with children and young people in Wales were surveyed. Professionals said that they worry about the mental health of children (86 percent), the effect of social media (81 percent) and about family problems (82 percent).
The worries of the 600 parents that were surveyed were somewhat similar to those of the professionals with mental health (74 percent), bullying (68 percent) and effects of social media (60 percent) being identified as the matters that they thought worried and affected children’s lives in Wales today.
The findings will be used to inform the Children’s Commissioner’s work for the next three years.