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Social Care Wales

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  • As a service user where do I begin. I have looked at the act on line but how the legal framework for improving the well-being of people who need care and support is going to benefit me seems to be government jargon. No change yet for me and other people I know.

  • Be positive Pip as it is down to us and not the politicians to make this work. Commitment and attitude does not cost money. Austerity should only effect the bean counters but we all know that in reality change is needed. The creative co-production concept within our local authorities can assist in increasing efficiency and stretching budgets. We all have to work together.

  • I kept a Guardian article from 2012 titled Building a better model of social service delivery.

    Here is one paragraph:

    Proactive management

    Integration requires loose organic networks to be re-moulded into tighter symbiotic relationships. It should be the trigger to quickly map local capabilities and then co-design interventions based on demand and resources. A performance management framework then needs to be devised that support and challenge local providers with a less mature performance culture. This must be underpinned by proper incentives that reflect the varying capacities and capabilities of providers.

    Here in Wales, as across most of the UK, such an approach is being implemented but even with the 20 million our Minister has granted to prop up three key areas the Westminster cut backs are having a detriment effect on positive change.

  • In total agreement. With the best intentions I am not sure if the government here in Wales is fully aware of reality when service users are being denied the opportunity to have a semblance of independence due to under funded services.

  • My feelings are that front line services in heavily populated low income areas of large towns and cities are under so much pressure and that most cannot be restructured economically in order to comply with the revised 2016 Act.

  • Am I the only person who feels that cuts in education over the years together with limited employment opportunities for people who have not obtained a certain academic standard to go on to further education has created an anti social culture, especially in poor inner city neighbourhoods, which is putting so much pressure on us.

    Investment in prevention could have avoided time and energy thrown away when departments have to be restructured to deal with the current fast growing anti social culture putting so much pressure on our resources.

  • Tracy you are not alone. I can no longer go out in my street alone without being abused by young kids whose mostly separated parents do not work. Police don't care. Have lived here for 50 years and it is not only the kids who have no respect but the housing associations who continually put dysfunctional single parent families in family houses in what was once a great place to live. Many of the kids don't even go to school and young girl who could not be more than 14 years old told me in broken English that for 2 quid I could xxxx her. This anti social culture is rife.

  • Toby, Anti social culture is a matter of perspective. Perhaps a separate Anti social culture discussion group can be set up should you feel like doing so.

  • Quite right lets keep this discussion focused on Social Care. I am sure that we all have opinions as to why the resources needed in our poorer inner city environments is necessitating in services to be restructured.

  • Experience is the best possible training for front line staff. However environmental and service delivery differences in nearly every local authority make it difficult for newly appointed time-served staff to immediately fit in when changing authorities. No sooner do we train newly qualified social workers that they move to other local authorities to gain experience often to help there future promotion opportunities.

    Frequent changes of front line staff is costing not only money but continuity for service users and creating administration nightmares. Realistically it takes 6 months for a newly qualified social worker to become fully effective and 3 months for an experienced social worker and both can take longer depending on their deployment. How a performance management framework can be structured bearing this in mind puts pressure on senior managers who are loosing touch with reality.

  • all good now and physiotherapy helping. thanks

  • Tracy when you wrote Realistically it takes 6 months for a newly qualified social worker to become fully effective and 3 months for an experienced social worker and both can take longer depending on their deployment do you mean that it takes 3 months for an experienced social worker to become fully effective when moving to a new Local Authority?

  • That is exactly what I meant. It is costly in monetary and performance terms

  • Reading the Good Management discussion I noticed that ISO 9001 management accreditation could be a way forward for all Welsh Local Authorities. Although I feel that correct management practices are essential I also feel that each Local Authority in Wales is unique and I believe that to be appointed as Director of Social services in any Local Authority in a certain level of management training is required.

    True Co-Production would mean that to be ISO 9001 or similarly accredited would involve representatives from Service Users, Welsh Government and all Local Authority staff to be accredited all together which could be the perfect way to establish a greater understanding of everyone's situation.

    My experience working for more than 1 Welsh Local Authority tells me that such co-produced accreditation will never work whilst we still have a Them and Us senior hierarchy in place and from what I have heard the National Assembly is not much better.

    Also would prison officers, prisoners and those in secure mental health units be included?

  • Often practice (reality) is better than accredited training. It has been an honour to be an Expert by Experience for a forward thinking organisation who have been working with a day centre as guests (service users), day centre management and local authority Social Care management to create shared directions.
    True Co-Production creates a sense of shared ownership.

  • Unfortunately day centres are few and far between and from where would we get the funds to rejuvenate this much needed service? A rethink in how to create successful outcomes will have to introduced by the Welsh Government. The combined health centre, day centre and therapy centre approach works for some specialist conditions such as the The West of England MS Therapy Centre in Bristol which I visited with my niece last year which is a good model.

  • Good management is not a reality in organisations I have encountered

    They only way to ensure good management is for the whole organisation to be assessed on how it's doing every 6 months as happens when the outside commercial company makes their visit

    Costs may be an issue but can we afford for the current state of affairs to continue
  • What a luxury to be able to refine Social Care provision. In parts of Nigeria where I am from and rural Kenya where I am now working there is there is little government support.

  • Hi Adele, having travelled and worked in many African countries where the lack of welfare contributes to disabled people's difficult life's an organisation called ResponsABLE assistance which I run to assist disabled people in disaster situations worldwide is currently working with disabled peoples organisations in rural Kenya. In 2013 two volunteers travelled to Kenya and after put together this film which highlights the lack of welfare.

    Here in Wales, as in most other places in the world, we are fortunate enough to have a Social Care welfare system in place that is constantly evolving BUT is in need of refining.

  • FANTASTC!!!! I started to watch the film with one of the admin staff earlier this morning and we have just had an early lunch and seen it all. We both had tears in our eyes and are full of admiration and talked of nothing else since.

    However reality does hit you in the face sometimes. Most of my day yesterday was spent writing a report about a broken hoist and organising a letter of apology copied to my team leader for approval before I can send it to a Councillor and the complainant. I have been working as an Occupational Therapist on and off for 12 years and the increasing amount of paperwork and 'protocol' is frustrating. Our welfare system was once the envy of the world but unless we can do our work as it should be done instead of being instructed by departments with no or little understanding of front line services many of us will leave Social Services. I feel like going to Africa as a volunteer where my real skills can benefit those who have nothing.

    Half an hour ago I had a reply from team leader to let me know that she is in a meeting all day today and tomorrow and would be dealing with my letter of apology on Monday as she is not working on Friday.

    Accountability is a good thing but has to be realistically administered.

  • Powerful stuff indeed. I hear that some parts of South America are not much different but having watched this very good film it demonstrates that by meeting the community and understanding more about the lives and the daily challenges of disabled people is a true co-productive approach.

    Tell me more

  • Never been to Africa but as their economies grow welfare structures will develop. Fantastic much needed charitable projects seem to be the only hope for many disadvantaged people.

    Our welfare model is not perfect and a larger Social Care budget is required to achieve successful outcomes but we lag behind Scandinavian countries in attitude and approach.

  • Consulting with service users is better here compared to some non Welsh councils I have worked for and we always try our best to do what is best providing our budget allows. So do all of us but I just cant see how the new act can change things unless our budgets increase.

  • Last year I visited Sweden and parts of Norway with my family and met a few people working in their social care sector and it it is obvious that their model works well because it is better funded and it is very evident that their populations are a lot more health concious and affluent.

  • I too admire the way Swedish and Norwegian services are delivered and it is the affluence that makes it work well.

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