Marking two years of positive social services reform by local authorities despite pressures

April 2018

Citizens in Wales who receive care and support are benefitting from the social service reforms carried out by local authorities under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act.

The landmark piece of legislation was passed by the National Assembly for Wales in 2014 but did not come into force until 6th April 2016.

As the law reaches its two-year anniversary, new resources highlighting the positive impact of the reforms are about to be launched by ADSS Cymru in partnership with other key public-sector organisations like the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), Social Care Wales, and the Welsh NHS Confederation. The aim of the resources – which include videos and written profiles – is to tell the stories of individuals who receive care and support, to offer confidence to practitioners on the effectiveness of the changes.

The unique piece of Welsh law, has set about modernising and transforming the whole social care environment by providing a legal framework for improving the well-being of people who need care and support, no matter what their age, as well as carers.

Based upon four core principles of Voice and Control, Prevention and Early Intervention, Well-being and Co-production, the Act has changed the way people’s needs are assessed by local authorities and the way services are delivered, ensuring people have more of a say in the care and support they receive. It also promotes a range of help available within the community to reduce the need for formal, planned support.

Commenting on the Act’s second anniversary, the new President of ADSS Cymru, Jenny Williams, said:

“Even though it has only been two years since the Act was introduced, the systemic change that has occurred in the way social services in Wales are now being delivered cannot be understated; the change is enormous.

“The new law is delivering real change with long-term benefits for both statutory organisations and the Welsh public.

“Social care practitioners are working more closely not just with the Welsh Health Service but more importantly, with the person who requires support, their carers and their families, to deliver more integrated care, solely based on what really matters to that individual person.

“Despite considerable pressure on funding and resources experienced by local authorities across Wales, social services have taken strides to embed the principles of the Act by enabling citizens to exercise more voice and control over the care and
support they receive.

“The old, one-size-fits-all approach, has been replaced with person-centred, bespoke care and ADSS Cymru, along with our partners, feel that its right to now start sharing those stories with the Welsh public.”