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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 8th September 2015

 

Report of the Director of Social Services

 

Update on 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.

Reason for the Recommendations

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

  1. The Social Services and Well-being Act comes into force in April 2016. 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 report updates the information considered by the Committee in July 2015 which included;
  • information on the second tranche of public consultation issued by Welsh Government on new Regulations and Codes of Practice;
  • plans for an awareness raising event in partnership with Glamorgan Voluntary Services; and
  • the Social care and Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP) and arrangements for a regional SCWDP Partnership.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The first tranche of Regulations and Codes of Guidance were laid before the National Assembly in July and these have now been approved. Appendix 1 contains the public consultation responses made by the Director of Social Services to the second tranche, submitted to the Welsh Government on 31st July, 2015. It covers:
  • the code of practice in relation to part 10 (Complaints, Representations and Advocacy Services);
  • the regulations and code of practice in relation to Part 5 (Charging and Financial Assessment); and
  • the regulations and code of practice in relation to part 6 (Looked After and Accommodated Children)
  1. Additionally, on 30th June, the Minister for Health and Social Services issued a Written Statement, clarifying Welsh Government intentions about how the Act should affect children and young people services. This can be seen at Appendix 2 (http://gov.wales/about/cabinet/cabinetstatements/2015/childrenyoungpeople/?lang=en)
  2. As reported last time, the Vale of Glamorgan Social Care Development and Workforce Plan (SCDWP) has been submitted to Welsh Government. In order to qualify for the SCDWP grant, a new Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Regional Social Care & Workforce Development Partnership is being established.
  3. A workshop was held on with those partners who expressed an interest in being part of this Partnership. The discussions from this session will help to shape the Partnership Board and ensure that it is fit for purpose. The first meeting of the Partnership was held on 31st July 2015. As well as confirming the Terms of Reference, governance and membership of the Partnership Board, it set out arrangements for ensuring robust communications are in place and all partners are kept up to date. One of the first challenges for the Board will be to complete a regional update which needs to be returned to Welsh Government by 25th September.
  4. The Care Council for Wales (Care Council) is working with a range of partners to develop a national learning and development plan to support implementation of the Act. The overall aim of this initiative (funded by Welsh Government) is to ensure that the workforce is supported and informed to deliver social services in accordance with Welsh law and its interface with other relevant statues and to practice in accord with the principles of the Act. It has developed an Information and Learning Hub, a one-stop shop for the wide range of resources that will be produced as part of this initiative. Over time, the Hub will include training materials in different formats to help social care professionals implement the legislation in their day-to-day work. The hub is highly informative and it can be found at http://www.ccwales.org.uk/getting-in-on-the-act-hub.
  5. In partnership with the Glamorgan Voluntary Service (GVS), officers from the Vale's Social Services Management Team delivered a workshop event at the Barry Memorial Hall on 9th July 2015. This event was aimed at staff working in the third and independent sectors, as well as other local authority departments and the Local Health Board. Over 100 people attended the event which was very well received. It focused mainly on areas which we perceive to be the most crucial in implementing, at an early stage, the new model of services required by the Act.
  • Information, Advice and Assistance (IAA)
  • Planning and promoting preventative services
  • Supporting the development of new national assessment and eligibility tools
  • Workforce development and training needs
  1. The list is not intended to underestimate the need for us to focus too on many other key areas including safeguarding, charging, advocacy, social enterprises, performance management and regional partnership planning/working. However, given the very limited timeframe available and the scale of change required, it is essential that we concentrate limited resources on those areas which will most change the relationship between individuals and public services and which also represent the greatest risk to effective implementation. Our Regional Implementation Plan will need to be amended so that it reflects this strategy.
  2. Work to monitor progress against the current version of the Regional Implementation Plan is ongoing and Appendix 3 contains an update.

Funding for 2015/16

  1. 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.
  2. 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. It has now confirmed that our bid has been successful. We are proceeding with recruitment to the new posts required to help with preparations for the Act.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no resource implications as a direct consequence of this report. However, the Social Services and Wellbeing (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 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

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. Effective delivery of the new statutory responsibilities is help intended to ensure that the Council's assets are managed efficiently and effectively and that best use is made of the resources available for social care services, establishing sustainable models of assistance and support as well as contributing to the most appropriate ways of meeting the needs of vulnerable people.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

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

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. 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

  1. These are matters for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health).

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

Scrutiny Committee Report 13th July 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

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