The charity Action for Children has warned that homelessness 'can happen to anyone's child', after new figures revealed that one in four Welsh children have considered running away from home.
Action for Children are organising the first 'Byte Night South West', which will see hundreds of people bed down for the night at M Shed Princes Wharf, Bristol to raise vital funds for youth homelessness.
Homelessness can happen to anyone's child, our research shows that children as young as eight think about running away because of problems in the family.We want to help families repair broken relationships before the idea of running away becomes the reality of a night on the streets.
This year the South West business and technology sectors will spend a night exposed to the elements in aid of youth homelessness. This might not seem like much fun, but in the morning our sleepers will be able to go home to a warm bed and a full fridge. Sadly this isn't the case for homeless young people - and that's why we need people to support us by sleeping out at the first ever Byte Night South West.
One in ten parents in Wales say they're comfortable asking for help with money problems.
The figures come from a survey by Action for Children.
But according to the charity, that's not necessarily good news.
Although it appears encouraging that parents in Wales are more willing to seek out financial advice rather than their counterparts in England, these results reflect the greater need for financial assistance across the nation.
Wales has some of the highest levels of poverty and deprivation in the UK, and we believe that Welsh parents are being forced to seek financial help out of necessity, rather than out of choice.
– Brigitte Gater, Action for Children / Gweithredu dros blant
Just 1 out of every 10 parents in Wales feel ashamed asking for help with money problems.
According to a survey by Action for Children, that's less than the UK average, where 1 in 5 feel embarrassed to seek financial help.
The survey of more than 2,000 parents across the UK also found one in three (28%) of parents in Wales had asked for advice about personal finances or debt, compared with one in four (24%) of parents in England.
Despite the results the charity says Wales has some of the highest levels of poverty and deprivation in the UK.
Children in Wales are 'feeling crushed' under the pressure of adult problems according to a report by the charity Action for Children. It claims youngsters are struggling to cope with daily life because of severe problems their parents are facing such as job losses, illnesses and family breakdowns.
The charity says more than half (57%) of frontline staff in Wales are seeing children who need more emotional support while services are being reduced due to budget cuts.
The charity runs more than 100 services in Wales and says staff are reporting a deterioration in children's mental health with a fifth (20%) reporting children needing help with self-harming and self-poisoning.
Jan Leightley, Director of Children's Services at Action for Children in Wales, said, "Children are bearing the brunt of problems within families which is having catastrophic effects on their emotional health.They have to cope with problems that even adults are struggling to deal with."
Action for Children has launched the 'Fostering Myth Busting Campaign' today, which aims to dispel the most common myths that prevent people from becoming foster carers.
The charity says it is surprised at the lack of understanding around foster caring in Wales, and that those myths are preventing people from finding out about fostering, and adding to the worsening foster care crisis in Wales.
With these myths preventing people from coming forward, and the public not knowing the true extent of just how many children are currently in care, we are on course for a crisis in Wales. There’s an urgent need to tackle these misconceptions to move children into loving homes so they have the stability they need.
With the UK’s population at an all-time high, sadly the number of children coming into care will continue to rise, and so will the need for carers.
It is estimated that it takes four years from someone thinking they would like to foster to actually picking up the phone and making their initial enquiry. Often the reason behind this delay is because of the misconceptions they have, and their fear of rejection. But this could be prevented by helping people to understand that, in the majority of cases, they can foster and have a lot to offer a young person in care.
– Jason Hughes, Practice Manager at Action for Children's Taith Newydd fostering service in Newport
A foster care charity is warning that "we are on course for a crisis in Wales", because many potential carers are not coming forward as they don't know that they are eligible to foster.
There are currently 3,300 children in foster care in Wales, and a shortage of 600 carers this year alone. Action for Children is concerned the situation will only get worse.
It says that a number of myths - including the fact that half of people wrongly think you can't foster if you are over 55, and 31 per cent wrongly believe you can't be a carer if you are gay - are stopping people from coming forward.