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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 2 November, 2015

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

Annual Report of the Director of Social Services 2014/2015

 

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 

1. That Cabinet notes the content of this report.

2. That Cabinet 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 2014/15 and endorses his plans for improvement so that these priorities can be included in the Directorate’s Service Plan. 

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 him to provide people in the Vale with a rounded picture of social services - based on evidence drawn from a wide range of sources such as what users and carers say, key performance indicators, and measurements of progress against the overall goals of the Council.

 

3. The report is 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) as evidence for their annual evaluation of the Council and to guide their inspection programme in the Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

4. In planning how we will deliver services over four years, we have put in place a Service Plan for the period 2015 to 2019, which provides an overview of the Directorate's improvement work.  It outlines what the Directorate is trying to achieve; why this is important; how it will be achieved; how we will monitor progress; and what success will look like.  The outcomes and priorities contained in that plan are a central part of the Director's Annual Report. 

Relevant Issues and Options 

5. This is an important report for the people of the Vale of Glamorgan, members of the Council and our partners, both statutory and in other sectors.  It outlines the current context within which social services are operating and details proposed priorities for improvement. 

 

6. A challenge version of the Director's report was circulated widely at an early stage in the process.  This was done to give key stakeholders an opportunity to comment and to ensure that it accurately reflects their perceptions about the position of social services and the quality of care and support we provide.  As part of the process, the challenge version was discussed in the Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee.   This is a key milestone in finalising the report because of the Committee's role in providing consistent oversight and monitoring of services.  Feedback collected from all sources has been incorporated into the final version of the report, attached at Appendix 1.

 

7. The report will be circulated widely and made available via the Council's website. 

 

8. As in previous years, each Head of Service in the Directorate has also provided an annual report, including an assessment of how well we are doing in different service areas and priority objectives for improvement in 2015/16.  These are attached at Appendices 2, 3, & 4.  They will be published separately but at the same time as the Director's Report.  Social Services end-of-year performance information is attached at Appendix 5.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9. The report is set within the context of:

  • increasing demand for help and support, in particular for older persons;
  • managing the crisis in public sector finances, which means ongoing cuts to budgets for the foreseeable future; 
  • efforts to focus more of our work on supporting people to remain as independent as possible;
  • the need to prepare for implementation of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014.

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

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications 

11. The need to ensure that services are sustainable in the longer-term is a key element in the priority outcomes set out in the annual report.  This is 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 lack of exercise and misuse of alcohol).

Legal Implications (to include Human Rights Implications) 

12. Production 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 

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues) 

14. Equality and diversity form an integral part of service planning within the Directorate.  All service changes involve an Equality Impact Assessment which is included as appropriate in Cabinet Reports.  In December 2012, the Deputy Minister for Social Services launched “More Than Just Words” which is a strategic framework to strengthen Welsh language services in health, social services and social care.  A three year action plan is contained within the Framework and all local authorities are required to report their progress against the targets.  There is a commitment to working within the South East Wales Improvement Collaborative for social services to coordinate progress against the national action plan.  

Corporate/Service Objectives 

15. Key objectives of the Council set out in the Corporate Plan 2013 - 2017 and addressed by this report are;

  • Children and young people are engaged and supported and take full advantage of life opportunities available in their local community and beyond.
  • Citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan are healthy and have equality of outcomes and, through appropriate support and safeguards, the most vulnerable members of our community maximise their life opportunities.
  • Citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan can easily access efficiently managed services that are focused around their needs, have confidence in how decisions are made and are proud to live in the Vale.

Policy Framework and Budget 

16. This is a matter for Executive decision. 

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation) 

17. The challenge version of the report was sent for consideration to the Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee and to a wide range of partners.  The comments received were considered carefully and, where appropriate, changes to the report have been made.  There are no matters in the report which relate to an individual ward.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee 

18. Social Care and Health 

Background Papers 

Welsh Government statutory guidance on the Roles and Accountabilities of the Director of Social Services (June 2009)

Contact Officer 

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services

Officers Consulted 

Corporate Management Team 

Responsible Officer 

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services

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