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Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act ('the Act') is a new law that changes the way that local councils in Wales provide social care and support.

It came into force in April 2016 and means that councils must provide information, support and services in the way that the Act sets out.

The Act gives individuals and their carers more of a say in the care and support they receive. To support you to achieve wellbeing, you and your family or carer will make decisions about your care and support in equal 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.

The Act focuses on helping people to stay well, to be safe from harm, to be as independent as possible and to be supported within and by their local community. 

It has five principles:

  • Promoting Wellbeing
    Working with you to understand what matters to you and helping you achieve what is important for your wellbeing

  • Voice and control
    Putting you at the centre of your care; giving you a voice in making decisions about your life and control over reaching the outcomes that matter to you

  • Prevention and early intervention
    Increasing preventative services within the community to help you to keep well and help us to know when you may need extra support to prevent problems reaching a critical stage

  • Coproduction
    Providing opportunities for you to be involved in how your care and support is designed and provided

  • Collaboration
    Strong partnership working between the various organisations and people that support you, helping you live the life you choose for longer

Wellbeing

Wellbeing is an important part of the Act.  It means that people

  • are healthy
  • feel good about their life
  • are safe and protected
  • can learn new things

For adults it also means

  • control over their life
  • being able to work

And for children it means they are 

  • able to grow up happily 
  • looked after well

To define what wellbeing means to the individual, and understand whether this is being achieved, Welsh Government has  produced a Wellbeing StatementOpens new window.

What changes does the Act bring in?

This infographic explains some of the changes that the Act is bringing in.

Assessing your support needs

A new, simpler assessment process for care and support will be based on your needs and what matters to you as an individual. As well as finding out what the problems are, we will want to look at your personal strengths, what is going well in your life and the support available to you from your family, friends and others in the community.  

The assessment can be carried out by one person on behalf of a number of organisations who will work together to co-ordinate your support.  These may include your local council, local health services, community services and voluntary-sector organisations.

Carers have an equal right to be assessed for support, to those that they care for; anyone who provides unpaid care can have a carer's assessment.

More people are entitled to Direct Payments so that they can have more flexibility and control over the support they receive.  

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 have also been introduced, including a National Independent Safeguarding Board which will consider the effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements across Wales.

Further information

For more information about the Act please see the Welsh Government websiteOpens new window. This includes links to a number of documents including a  Young Person's Summary of the ActOpens new window  and an  Easy Read VersionOpens new window.

Social Care Wales has a comprehensive Information and Learning Hub  'Getting in on the Act'Opens new window  for those working in social care, health and the third sector.

 

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