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Agenda Item No 9

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 13th July, 2015

 

Report of the Director of Social Services

 

Implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To provide Scrutiny Committee with a monthly update in respect of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and the approach being taken to implementation.

Recommendations

That Scrutiny Committee:

 

1.         Notes the report.

2.         Continues to receive regular updates about implementing the Act.

3.         Refers this report to Cabinet for information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. 2. & 3.  To ensure that elected Members are kept informed about fundamental

                 changes in the policy and legislative framework which underpins the work of

                 Social Services.

Background

2.         The Social Services and Well-being Act comes into force in April 2016 and the Committee has requested regular updates on the progress being made in readiness for implementing the requirements of the Act in the Vale of Glamorgan.  This fourth report updates the information considered by the Committee in June 2015.

3.         Scrutiny Members last received an update on 15th June.  This included information about the second tranche of public consultation regarding the regulations and codes of practice for specific aspects of the Act, issued on 8th May and closing on 31st July.  Details of this tranche are set out below together with the links to the web site:

·           Consultation on the regulations and code of practice in relation to part 5 (Charging and Financial Assessment) of the Act www.gov.wales/consultations/healthsocialcare/part5/?lang=en

 

·           Consultation on the Regulations and code of practice in relation to part 6 (Looked After and Accommodated Children) of the Act

www.gov.wales/consultations/healthsocialcare/part6/?lang=en

 

·           Consultation on the regulations and statutory guidance in relation to part 9 (Co-operation and partnership) of the Act

www.gov.wales/consultations/healthsocialcare/part9/?lang=en

 

·           Consultation on the code of practice in relation to part 10 (Complaints, Representations and Advocacy Services) of the Act www.gov.wales/consultations/healthsocialcare/part10/?lang=enThis included: 

 

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         Officers attended a briefing session managed by Welsh Government on the second tranche of regulations and codes of practice in June.  This will help inform the Council’s consultation response.

5.         As reported last time, the Vale of Glamorgan Social Care Development and Workforce Plan (SCDWP) has been submitted to Welsh Government.  It includes a summary introduction on behalf of both Cardiff Council and the Vale Council.  The Director of Social Services in Cardiff is the nominated regional lead for workforce issues relating to implementation of the Act.  As required to qualify for the Welsh Government SCDWP grant, a new Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan Regional Social Care & Workforce Development Partnership is to be established.  Welsh Government requires, by September, an update on the progress being made to deliver this requirement.

6.         Consequently, a workshop is being held on 23rd July to which social care providers from across the region have been invited.  The purpose is in part to secure agreement among partners regarding:

·         the opportunities the new Partnership will offer the industry, carers and service users;

·         how we will work together as a Region;

·         how we will work as a Partnership; and

·         what being a member of the Partnership might mean.

7.         In addition, a Board is to be established to oversee the operation of the Partnership. The role of the Board will be to ensure that:

·         The Partnership is 'fit for purpose’;

·         The Partnership is planning for the future; and

·         There are appropriate governance and accountability arrangements in place, that ensure plans are properly devised, agreed, implemented and monitored

8.         Care providers have been asked to take on the role of representing sectors of the industry on this Board.

9.         Glamorgan Voluntary Services is working in partnership with the Council to coordinate a workshop event intended to raise awareness of the Act and its implications.  Two half-day briefing sessions have been arranged on 9th July and invitations have been sent to staff within the local authority, the third sector and the Health Board.  At the event, workshops will be  held on the following areas of the Act:

·         Community and Well-being outcomes, prevention and early intervention;

·         Assessing and meeting the needs of individuals;

·         Care and Support for Adults and Children; and

·         Working in Partnership.

10.      These workshops are being facilitated by members of the Social Services Management Team.

Funding for 2015/16

11.      The Welsh Government has committed to continue supporting local government and its partners in making the transition to the new arrangements.  It has doubled the funding available through the Delivering Transformation grant across Wales to £3m in 2015/16.  Subject to budgetary decisions, a further £3m in grant funding will be made available in 2016/17 to support the embedding process, with a view to transferring this sum into the Revenue Support Grant from 2017/18 in recognition of the ongoing programme of change driven by the Act.

12.      From this grant, the Welsh Government has allocated £414,648 to the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff region to continue the delivering transformation/sustainable social services agenda in 2015/16.  Welsh Government has now confirmed that our bid has been successful.  We will now proceed with recruitment to the new posts required to help with preparations for the Act.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

13.      There are no resource implications as a direct consequence of this report.  However, the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 sets a whole range of new challenges which will have to be met at a time of severe financial restraints for local government and social services.  It has been made clear that there will be no additional resources from the Welsh Government for this purpose, apart from the limited transitional/transformational funding.  Local authorities should remain very cautious about whether there will be sufficient resources available to meet increased commitments and expectations in the face of growing demand for services.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.      There are no legal implications as a direct result of this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.      Sustainable Social Services for Wales – A Framework for Action recognises the diversity of Wales, including its status as a bilingual nation.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.      Social services meets the following corporate objectives:

·           "To make the Vale a safe, healthy and enjoyable 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 it service aims."

Policy Framework and Budget

18.      These are matters for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Background Papers

Scrutiny Committee Report: 7th November, 2013: Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action and the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill

Scrutiny Committee Report 14th January, 2014: Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action

Scrutiny Committee Report 13th April 2015: Implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

Scrutiny Committee Report 21st May 2015: Implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

Scrutiny Committee Report 15th June 2015: Implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

Contact Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Responsible Officer

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services