- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Latest News
A major piece of legislation that is set to transform the way people in Wales receive care and support has been introduced by Welsh Labour’s Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, Gwenda Thomas.
The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill was presented to the National Assembly where it will now undergo the process of scrutiny before being voted on. It’s anticipated that, if passed, it will gain Royal Assent later this year.
The White Paper Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action highlighted a number of key challenges faced by public services in Wales now and in the future. These included demographic changes, increased expectations of those who access care and support, and continuing hard economic realities. The Bill aims to address these issues and in doing so will give people greater freedom to decide which services they need while offering consistent, high-quality services across the country.
The legislation will:
- Strengthen powers for safeguarding of children and adults, so that anyone at risk in our society can be protected effectively;
- Allow Welsh Ministers to consider extending the range of services available by direct payments, meaning people will have more control over the services they use;
- Introduce national eligibility criteria and ensure people are assessed on what they need, rather than just on what services are available locally;
- Introduce portable assessments, which means if people move from one part of Wales to another they will not require their needs to be re-assessed if they haven’t changed;
- Introduce a National Outcomes Framework to set out very clearly what children and adults can expect from social services, to measure achievements and see where improvements are needed;
- Introduce equivalent rights for carers so that people who care for someone such as an elderly or disabled relative or friend would get equivalent rights to the people they care for;
- Establish a National Adoption Service to improve the outcomes of child placements.