Social Care Wales

Social Care Wales

Developing resources for social workers and practitioners.

The culture of social care in Wales is changing following The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act (2014). The Act gives carers living in Wales the same legal rights and entitlements as those they care for and means assessments are carried out to help promote well-being.

Social Care Wales is a regulatory and workforce body, sponsored by the Welsh Government, whose mission is to make a positive difference to social care in Wales by enabling skills and responding to reform. The Institute of Public Care (IPC) at Oxford Brookes won a competitive tender from Social Care Wales to research and develop resources to help social workers and related professionals embrace change and achieve best practice in carers’ assessments.

A girl and three ladies take a break

“There is a real national political interest in this work and there has already been interest from the Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales. This project will hopefully build on the current skills of social workers and related professionals and promote the well-being and personal outcomes for carers’ in Wales, which is a key aim of the legislation and policy.”

Tammy Abarno, IPC Consultant and registered social worker

About the new resources

The social care landscape is changing from a focus on needs and deficits towards an approach that promotes independence and well-being, with collaborative conversations between social work practitioners and carers’ more muted around what can we do to help promote well-being and quality of life? and how can we work with you to try and reach goals/ outcomes that are important to you?

The social work profession in Wales has long been trending towards more of a partnership approach to care and this work has been developed to support social workers and related professionals to create a step-change in the culture of their approach and work towards more collaboration with carers’, families and other key stakeholders.

The new resources will be available online and the content has been co-shaped by the carer sector in Wales, with the work involving carers’ themselves, social workers, related professionals and relevant voluntary organisations.

Tammy Abarno, commented “The amount of and level of detailed feedback from the sector has been impressive and fundamental in shaping the resources. Social Care Wales have been excellent partners in helping us develop these resources”.

Resources include:

  • a training manual to help managers run formal training sessions on carers’ assessments,
  • training presentation slides that support the training manual,
  • a practitioner reflective workbook of reflective practice for social workers and relevant practitioners to carry out quality, carer assessments
  • a practical toolkit that provides tools and theories that can be applied by practitioners when working with carers’ to improve assessments.

The 5 month project began in October and the resources, which will be written in English and Welsh, are being published in early 2019. The IPC at Oxford Brookes won the work through a competitive tender process, based on its strong track record of consultancy and research around social and health care. For example, IPC delivers the Team Manager Development Programme, aimed at mangers of social worker teams in Wales, which develops leadership and management skills with a real understanding of managing practice. This year-long programme is specifically aimed at social care team managers and senior practitioners across Wales.

About the social care landscape in Wales

Wales has the highest proportion of carers in the UK, with unpaid carers saving Wales the equivalent of £8.1m each year. These carers provide the foundation of care for people living at home who need support and are often, although not always, frail, ill, disabled or vulnerable. There are at least 370,000 self-declared carers in Wales and an anticipated 40% rise in the number of carers by 2047.

Local authorities have a duty to offer assessments for carers, developed with them as equal partners, and with the goal of enabling carers to live the life they wish to achieve. It reflects the principle that carers, if effectively supported, provide a preventative service, enabling people who are frail, vulnerable or have long-term conditions to stay living at home longer and as members of their local communities. The Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales has acknowledged the huge economic contribution that Wales’s carers make to the Welsh health and care system.

Contact us

Directorate of Research, Innovation and Enterprise

+ 44 (0) 1865 534200