What does the Act mean?
The ethos and guiding principle of the Act is to place individuals and the wellbeing outcomes that they wish to achieve, at the centre of their care.
This means giving individuals a significant voice in, and control over, how these well-being outcomes can be achieved.
The key principles are:
- We must support people who have care and support needs to achieve well-being.
- People are to be put at the heart of the new system by giving them an equal say in the support they receive.
- Partnership and co-operation must drive service delivery.
- Services will promote the prevention of escalating need and ensure that the right help is available at the right time.
What’s changed in Conwy?
Information, Advice and Assistance
An important part of the Act is around an Information, Advice and Assistance Service, so that people can easily get the information they need. A national resource directory has been developed and it will help people to get accurate, up-to-date information at any time, either at home using the internet or by contacting a single telephone number or email address. This resource is called Dewis Wales.
One example of what we’re doing in Conwy is the continuing work of the Single Point of Access Team. The team work with the BCUHB and other community agencies, answering all calls into the social care department. We’ve also improved the advice, support and assistance for Children, Young People and Families. This is provided through the Duty and Assessment Service, Family Information Service and Team Around the Family.
Assessment and Eligibility Practice
The Act requires local authorities to make significant changes to current assessment and eligibility practice, with a move away from ‘identifying what services an individual needs’ to an emphasis on what care and support they require to achieve the personal outcomes that ‘matter to them’.
This starts with the ‘What Matters Conversation’ at the initial point of contact. The aim is to streamline assessments through a single process for children, adults and carers while recognising their different requirements.
Following implementation of the Integrated Assessment, Conwy continues to consult with practitioners and participate in regional integrated assessment planning and evaluation meetings in order to monitor the quality of the assessment process and support quality improvement.
Population Needs Assessment
The North Wales Population Assessment will set out the care and support needs of the population, the support needs of carers and services required to meet those needs. It is a joint project between the six North Wales Local Authorities, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) and Public Health Wales. It is based on engagement with service users, the public, partner organisations, staff and elected members. The first report was published in April 2017.
The development of the North Wales Regional Population Needs Assessment is of benefit to Conwy as it will inform our Conwy Social Care Commissioning Strategy, particularly in terms of identifying needs and population trends, as well as gaining service user and citizens’ feedback on needs and gaps in service delivery. This moves us towards a more co-productive approach to commissioning services in the future.
In response to the Act, the North Wales Collaborative has established two regional safeguarding boards for children and adults. These boards have two main roles - prevention and protection. There is representation on boards from a range of statutory agencies, such as health, probation and the police, not just local authorities.
Looked after Children
The numbers of Looked after Children and young people in Wales have been rising. The Act seeks to address this and aims to change the way children and families’ care and support needs are met. Conwy Children and Family Services are developing new ways of working with families, aimed at strengthening the ability and skills within families to look after a child safely and to prevent children coming into care. The collaborative skills project initial pilot was undertaken in 2017 and is included within this report.
For more information about the Act, go to Social Care Wales