Agenda Item No. 10

The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) : 7th October, 2013


Report of the Director of Social Services


Annual Report of the Director of Social Services 2012/2013 - Challenge Version


Purpose of the Report

1.             To ensure that Elected Members receive a copy of the Director's Annual Report at an early stage, contribute to the challenge process and agree the future priorities for the service.


That Scrutiny Committee:


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

2.             Contributes proposals for changes to the Annual Report as part of the challenge process.

Reason for the Recommendations

1. & 2. To provide Elected Members with an opportunity to contribute to the challenge

           process for the Director's Annual Report 2012/2013.



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.             The reports 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) to guide their inspection programme in the Vale of Glamorgan.

4.             In planning how we will deliver services over the next four years, we have put in place a Service Plan for the period 2013 to 2017 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 for 2013/14 contained in the plan are a central part of this annual report.

5.             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 2013/14.  These will be published separately but at the same time as the Director's Report.  All the reports represent the views of the Director and other managers in Social Services; they are not Council policy at this stage.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             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 details proposed priorities for improvement.

7.             A challenge version of the Director's report is attached at Appendix 1.  Circulating challenge versions is intended to allow key stakeholders an opportunity to comment and make observations before the report is finalised,, ensuring that it accurately reflects the position of social services.  To support this 'check and challenge' process, the Social Services Improvement Agency (SSIA) has produced a document 'Tips for Challengers', which is attached at Appendix 2.

8.             As part of the challenge process, the report is presented to Scrutiny Committee at an early stage to provide Elected Members with an opportunity to contribute their views.  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.

9.             The final report will be presented to Cabinet and circulated widely.  It will be made available via the Council's website.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.        The report is set within the context of:

·         increasing demand for help and support;

·         managing the crises in public sector finances which means ongoing cuts to budgets; and

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

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.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.        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

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.        Key objectives of the Council addressed by this report, as set out in the Corporate Plan 2013 - 2017 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 draft report is a consultation document and it will be sent for consideration to a wide range of partners.  A feedback pro forma has been provided which can be returned either in hard copy or via email.  The comments received will be evaluated and, where appropriate, changes to the report will be made.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.        Social Care and Health.

Background Papers

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


Contact Officer

Phil Evans, Director of Social Services


Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Responsible Officer:

Phil Evans, Director of Social Services