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                                                                                                                    Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 27 January, 2014

 

Joint Report of the Cabinet Member for Adult Services and the Cabinet Member for Children's Services

Annual Report of the Director of Social Services 2012/2013

Purpose of the Report

1.         To ensure that Cabinet receives the final version of the Director's Annual Report and approves the improvement priorities for the Directorate set out in the report.

Recommendations

That Cabinet:

 

1.         Notes the Director's Annual Report for 2012/2013.

2.         Approves the improvement priorities for the Directorate as set out in the report.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1&2. To ensure that Cabinet is aware of the Director's public account of service effectiveness in 2012/13 and endorses his plans for improvement so that these priorities can be included in the Directorate’s Service Plans.

Background

2.         As part of his statutory duties, the Director of Social Services is required by the Welsh Government to produce an annual report on the effectiveness of social care services in the Vale of Glamorgan and on our plans for improvement.   This provides an opportunity for the Director to provide people in the Vale with a rounded picture of social services - based on evidence such as what users and carers say, key performance indicators, and measurements of progress against the overall goals of the Council.

3.         Each Head of Service in the Directorate also provides an annual report, including an assessment of how well we are doing in different service areas and priority objectives for improvement in the current year.  These are published separately but at the same time.  All the reports represent the views of the Director and senior managers in Social Services

4.         A challenge version of the Director's report is circulated at an early stage in the process.  This is done to allow key stakeholders opportunity to comment and make observations before the report is finalised, ensuring that it accurately reflects the position of social services.  As part of the challenge process, the report is presented to the Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee.  This is regarded as a key milestone in finalising the report because of the role which the Committee has in providing consistent oversight and monitoring of social services.

5.         The reports are written for a wide range of people, including service users and carers but also Elected Members, the Council's own staff, and the range of partners and providers who help us deliver our services.  It is used by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) to guide their annual evaluation of the local authority social services function and the subsequent inspection programme in the Vale of Glamorgan. 

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         The Director's Annual Report is attached at Appendix 1.  This is an important report for the people of the Vale of Glamorgan, members of the Council and for our partners, both statutory and in other sectors.  It outlines the current context within which social services are operating and proposed priorities for improvement.  These priorities are consistent with the Directorate's Service Plan for 2013-17, which in turn supports delivery of the Corporate Plan 2013-17 and ultimately the overarching Community Strategy.   

7.         The three reports by the Heads of Service are attached at Appendix 2.  The reports are circulated widely and all four documents will be made available via the Council's website.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.         The annual reports reflect the current challenges facing social services:

·               the need to manage increasing demand for help and support;

·               the need to deal effectively with the crisis in public sector finances, which means ongoing cuts to budgets for the foreseeable future;

·               the need to focus more of our work on supporting people to remain as independent as possible.

9.         The priority objectives contained in the reports will be delivered within the financial constraints set by the Social Services Budget Programme, which is approved by Cabinet and reported regularly.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

10.      The priority objectives in the report are consistent with the direction set by Welsh Government for delivering sustainable social services through greater emphasis on prevention and people accepting more responsibility for tackling factors which can increase demand for social care and health services and which are associated with lifestyle choices such as exercise and misuse of alcohol.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.      The development of the Annual Report is undertaken in accordance with Welsh Government statutory guidance regarding the roles and accountabilities of the Director of Social Services.

Crime and Disorder Implications

12.      There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.      There are no equal opportunity implications as a direct result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.      Key objectives of the Council addressed by this report are:

·               to work with partners from the voluntary, public, private and other sectors to establish a shared vision for the future of the Vale and to ensure a co-ordinated approach to realising this vision.

·               to make the Vale a safe and healthy place in which individuals, children and families can live their lives to the full; and

·               to manage the Council's workforce, money and assets efficiently and effectively in order to maximise its ability to achieve its service aims.

Policy Framework and Budget

15.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.      The Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee considered the reports on 7th October. It generated very helpful discussions and some suggestions for minor amendments.  Members were supportive of the changes set out in the priority objectives but asked that these should be more outcome focused next year.  They also expressed concern about whether the overall change programme for social services can be delivered in the face of serious budget reductions, despite an impressive track record of achievements by the Directorate.  

17.      The challenge version of the Director's Report and the three Heads of Service reports were sent for consideration to a wide range of partners.  Where appropriate, changes to the reports have been made.

18.      There are no matters in this report which relate to an individual ward.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

19.      Social Care and Health.

Background Papers

Welsh Government statutory guidance on the Roles and Accountabilities of the Director of Social Services

Contact Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Responsible Officer:

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services