Welsh Social Care legislation

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 aims to introduce solutions to the specific issues affecting social services in Wales. The Act received Royal Assent on 1st May 2014.

The Act marks the first time that a coherent legal framework has been established for social services in Wales, where social care law has been derived from English law, and after the Assembly was set up, through policy announcements and separate regulatory law and regulations, but no separate over-arching statute governing the basics. It identifies the promotion of individual rights, self-determination and prevention as the main ways to transform social services and improve the welfare of vulnerable children and adults. The Act aims to ensure that people have access to clear information, advice and assistance by placing their voice and rights at the centre of decisions about their care and support.

The main aims of the Act are as follows: to

o    bolster the protection of vulnerable people at risk through strengthening the powers for the safeguarding of children and adults;

o    ensure people are assessed on what they need, rather than just on what services are available locally;

o    strengthened duties to assess before a person arrives in a new area, so that there is continuity of care over the transition;

o    provide individuals with greater control over how their needs are met by facilitating an increased take up of direct payments to meet people’s care and support needs;

o    establish a ‘National  Outcomes Framework’ that outlines what children and adults should expect from social services, and allows for achievements and areas of improvement to be identified;

o    provide carers with more rights to ensure that they have similar rights to those that they care for, by giving actual rights to have eligible needs met;

o    establish a ‘National Adoption Service’ to improve the outcomes of children requiring a permanent family;

o    improve the co-ordination of the work of public authorities in order to enhance the well-being of individuals; and

o    facilitate the making of complaints and representations regarding social care and palliative care;

Important links

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 can be found at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/anaw/2014/4/enacted.


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