1. Neath Port Talbot CVS is the County Voluntary Council and a Charitable Company set up to promote, support and develop the Third Sector in Neath Port Talbot. As an infrastructure organisation, we have an important role in engagement and representation. As part of this work, Neath Port Talbot CVS facilitates a range of third sector forums and networks, which engage the sector in Neath Port Talbot in order to gather the views of the sector and to feed these views into key decision-makers and delivery partners. This paper sets out the response to the consultation from Neath Port Talbot CVS, reflecting the views raised by the Sector through the Neath Port Talbot Children and Young People’s Voluntary Sector Forum.
  2. The Sector has concerns regarding place based programmes, which create a postcode lottery in terms of access to services that make a difference to children’s lives. These programmes aim to deliver improved outcomes, and tackle child inequalities with a focus on child poverty. Whilst recognising the impact of these programmes, there are many children and families who live in poverty who are not able to access them. It is felt that these services should be universal to ensure that all are able to benefit.
  3. The role and effectiveness of the Third Sector in supporting children and families cannot be ignored. The Sector plays a crucial role in prevention, in the sharing of key messages, in improving outcomes and supporting child development. The Sector is in regular contact with some of the most vulnerable in our communities, providing essential support and services which contribute to the effective implementation of Welsh Government policies and programmes.

The impact of changes to funding and commissioning processes for key programmes cannot be ignored. The current round of Families First commissioning led to cuts locally to third sector services which were perceived as duplicating other provision. These cuts had a significant impact on children and families locally. The changes to Families First priorities going forward and the renewed focus on parenting is welcomed by the Sector, as the revised priorities may lead to the re-establishment of these vital services.