Rebecca Evans, Minister for Social Services and Public Health
I want to update members on the transition to Social Care Wales. This month, the Care Council for Wales was renamed as Social Care Wales and assumed new powers. In addition to workforce regulation and workforce development, Social Care Wales will become responsible for providing an important new focus for leading improvement across the sector.
A significant amount of work has been undertaken to prepare for the sponsored bodies extended responsibilities, from finalising governance structures to the development of a communication strategy. There is also work on-going in relation to domiciliary care and improving social care research in Wales which you will hear more about throughout the year.
Last year, my predecessor endorsed the early strategic priorities for Social Care Wales in the areas of domiciliary care, looked after children and dementia, and requested that further work was undertaken to test the priorities with the sector.
The Social Services Improvement Agency (SSIA), supported by the Care Council for Wales, has subsequently engaged with the sector. The findings demonstrate healthy support for the priorities and for Social Care Wales as the lead for driving strategic improvement. The report also recommends specific action for making progress in these areas for consideration by Social Care Wales and others. I endorse the report which has been published and thank SSIA, the Care Council for Wales and the wider sector for working together to help inform the new service improvement function and direction for Social Care Wales, which will put it on a firm footing from day one.