The Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act will become law from April 2016. The Act is changing the way Social Services works fundamentally. People will be able to get information, advice and assistance about different kinds of care and support when they need a bit of extra help to carry on leading their lives –early intervention and prevention. There will be different sorts of services designed with and around people, and supported by people, their families and communities. The way social services staff work with people will be different. The system will be simpler, and people will be asked what matters to them and what they can contribute to their own well-being.
The changes are huge and very important. People who need care and support, their carers and their families and staff who give care and support will all need to understand what the new arrangements will mean to them.
On 6 November 2014, Welsh Government began a formal consultation on some of the regulations and statutory guidance. This ends in February 2015. The second consultation on the rest of the regulations and guidance begins in the summer of 2015. Information will be provided in a range of accessible formats.
Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services said:
I encourage everyone to get involved in this consultation. This Act does not just change a few rules here and there. It is not simply a case of adjusting what we do now. It replaces and rewrites the legislative basis for care and support in Wales. It is a whole system Act, and for that reason it represents a totally new landscape for us in Wales. It is a wide-ranging reform of which Wales should be proud.
At its core is an approach that focusses on people – in the context of their families and communities in a way which strengthens their voice and gives them more control over their lives.
The consultation is about:-
- Well-being and overarching duties
- Population assessment
- Preventative services
- Social enterprises
- Provision of information, advice and assistance
- Assessing the needs of individuals
- Meeting the needs of people
- Care and support plans
- Direct payments
- Adults in prison, approved premises and bail accommodation and young people in youth detention accommodation
- Some background
- There will be a formal consultation on the Welsh Government website and there will be 2 main consultation events by invitation – 26 November at the Liberty Stadium and 9 December at Venue Cymru. Welsh Government is encouraging everyone to get engaged in the consultation and WCVA is playing an important part in that by making sure that they alert all of their networks, and also by enabling Welsh Government to hear direct from citizens.