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Wales set for new fairer, stronger, sustainable social services system

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

A new law which ensures people will have the right support services at the right time, gives carers greater rights and strengthens powers to safeguard vulnerable children and adults comes into force at midnight tonight.
Tuesday 05 April 2016

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 radically transforms the way social services are delivered in Wales, ensuring they meet the needs of individuals, giving people a voice in how social services assess and deliver their care and support and ensuring services are sustainable for the future.

It focuses on earlier intervention, increasing preventative services in the community, helping people maintain their independence and enabling people to get the help they need before their situation becomes critical. This will help to reduce pressure on the NHS and residential care services.

The Act gives carers an equal right to assessment for support to those they care for. Local authorities will have a duty under the Act to undertake a carer’s assessment where carers need support.

The Act also introduces new safeguarding powers, which will help keep vulnerable children and adults safer.

In addition, the Act:

  • Ensures easy access to information and advice is available to all
  • Introduces new eligibility criteria focused on individual need, replacing the current threshold system
  • Introduces portable assessments, so people who move from one part of Wales to another will receive the services they need in their new area without immediately having to undergo a new assessment
  • Introduces new arrangements so that, if they want to, young people will be supported to stay with their foster carers until they reach 21 (or 25 if they are in education or training)
  • Requires local authorities and health boards to come together in new statutory partnerships to drive integration, innovation and service change.

Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“From midnight tonight, a new made-in-Wales system for the care and support of our most vulnerable citizens, which is fairer and more sustainable, will come into force. It will ensure the right services are available in the right place, at the right time – helping people live their lives in the way they want to.

“We are also giving carers an equal right to assessment for support to those they care for, while new safeguarding powers will help keep vulnerable children and adults safer.

“I’m confident the new system will improve the care and support we provide to people in Wales for the better.”

The Minister added:

“I want to thank the former Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas AM, the Act’s architect, for her dedication and commitment to turning her vision of sustainable social services into reality.

“We could not have progressed so far in this journey without the wholehearted support of the social care sector, in particular our collaboration partners. Each have, and will continue to, play a crucial role in making the ambitions of the Act a reality.”



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