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Social services and wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014

How will this affect my care and support

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act came into force in April 2016 and is a law that give you more of a say in the care and support you receive. To support you to achieve well-being, you will make decisions about your care in partnership with professionals..

To help you to do so, you will have easy access to information and advice about what is available in your area. Carers will have an equal right to be assessed for support, to those that they care for, and more people will be entitled to Direct Payments.

New assessment process

A new assessment process for care and support will be based on what matters to you as an individual. It will consider your personal strengths and the support available to you from your family, friends and others in the community. The assessment will be simpler and can be carried out by one person on behalf of a range of organisations.

It will be completed in partnership with you, your family and the professional working with you. A conversation will take place to establish what matters to you and what you need to achieve well-being. This will consider your strengths, and the resources and options available to you- including any support the local authority may provide.

There will be more services to prevent problems getting worse, so the right help is available when you need it. Stronger powers to keep people safe from abuse or neglect will also be introduced. The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act comes into force in April 2016. You will take part in the new process at your next scheduled assessment date.

Keeping people safer

A National Independent Safeguarding Board will consider the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements across Wales. They will monitor performance throughout the country and make recommendations to the Welsh Government about improvements that could be made. Laws to protect adults and children from abuse or neglect have also been strengthened.

The local authority and health board will work together to assess the population and find out what care and support is needed in their area. This will indicate the preventative services that need to be made available. Local authorities need to provide an information, advice and assistance service for people.

Local authorities must promote the involvement of people who receive care and support, in the design and delivery of services, along with alternative delivery models including; social enterprises, co-operatives, user-led services and the voluntary sector.

More information

More information about the Social Services and Well-being Act is available on the Welsh Government website and Care Council for Wales.

What does “well-being” mean

Well-being means you are happy, healthy and comfortable with your life and what you do. The Act sets out a definition of well-being for people who need care and support. Welsh Government has produced a Well-being Statement to look at the well-being outcomes people who need care and support, and carers who need support can expect to achieve.

What are alternative delivery models

A social enterprise is a business with profits re-invested back into its services or the community. A co-operative is a group of people acting together voluntarily to meet an economic and social need in their community. User led services are run and controlled by the people who use support services. The Welsh Government’s Social Business Wales website has information about how to set up a social enterprise.

Will there be changes to Direct Payments

More people will be able to receive Direct Payments if they want to. This means you will be given the money to organise your own care and support to meet your well-being outcomes, increasing your personal control and choice.

How will organisations work together to improve well-being

In particular local authorities and health boards will need to work closely so health and social care is better integrated. Together, they will assess care and support requirements in their area and then identify and provide what services are needed. The assessment and care planning process will require organisations to work together in an integrated approach to reduce duplication.

I am in foster care. Do I get more support

If you and your foster family want to stay together when you reach the age of 18, you will be supported to do so until you are 21. This may be extended to your 25th birthday if you are in education or training.

Are there any changes to the adoption process

The National Adoption Service was established in 2014. It brings together all local councils to work together with voluntary adoption organisations in Wales. Results are already showing that the process is now quicker with better support available to families.

Are there changes to how I pay for care and support

The way you pay for care if you have the financial means to do so will be uniform across Wales- there will be one set of assessment and charging arrangements for all adults asked to pay for their care.  This will be for both residential and non-residential care. Everyone paying a charge will receive a detailed statement explaining its calculation and it can be queried where necessary. In 2011, Welsh Government announced a cap on the amount councils can charge for non-residential care and support- this cap remains and is £90 per week.

How will we know if the Act is successful

Local authorities across Wales will record their performance, and will be able to compare themselves with other areas. They can then learn and improve by sharing best practice. The Welsh Government will report on progress towards well-being in an annual report.