Two important events have recently dominated our attention.
The first was to celebrate the excellent work care workers have been doing and continue to do, while the other was launching our high-level plan for the next five years.
We know how fortunate we are in Wales to have such skilled and committed people providing care and support for some of our most vulnerable individuals, as well as those early years and childcare workers who do so much to give our children a great start in life.
But it’s still humbling to see and hear first-hand the remarkable work these special people do. And that’s what we did at the Accolades awards ceremony in Cardiff, when we recognised and celebrated excellence in social care, early years and childcare.
Twenty four finalists had reached the final in categories for projects and outstanding individuals. And, for the first time in three and a half years, were able to meet and pay tribute to them in person.
The winners were:
- Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s social services department for its ‘BG Hub’ project, to help children aged between 14 and 18 who need care and support.
- Conwy County Borough Council’s social services department for its ‘Attitude for Gratitude’ project, which supports better staff mental well-being.
- Pembrokeshire County Council’s social care and housing department for its ‘Pembrokeshire Supported Employment Programme’, which encourages people with a disability to aspire to work.
- Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services for its ‘Dementia Supportive Communities’ project, aimed at improving the lives of people living with dementia, their families, and carers.
- Seren Support Services, who have become an accredited real living wage employer and reward staff who show commitment to the company and their career development.
- Alaw Pierce, Service Manager at Denbighshire County Council, who won the Caring in Welsh award for championing people’s rights to use Welsh.
- Keri Llewellyn, Manager of All Care (South Wales) Ltd, who won the WeCare Wales award for improving the lives of older people and vulnerable people.
Our next important event was to launch our five-year strategic plan.
This aims to achieve eight outcomes, or results, by 2027:
- improved well-being for the social care and early years workforce
- a highly recognised and valued social care and early years workforce
- social care practice and policy underpinned by innovation, high-quality research, data and other forms of evidence
- a registered workforce that has the public’s confidence
- a social care and early years workforce that is suitably qualified, knowledgeable and skilled, with the right values, behaviours and practice
- the attraction, recruitment and retention of people with the right values to work in care
- social care services that make the most of people’s strengths when providing them with care and support
- effective, high quality and sustainable services provided by Social Care Wales.
Achieving these outcomes would realise our vision of making a positive difference to care and support in Wales for children, adults and their families and carers.
These outcomes are not wholly owned by Social Care Wales. They are shared national outcomes, which will need important contributions from other organisations around Wales to bring about the results we all want to see. So, partnership-working will be essential.
We will also need to be flexible. As Covid has reminded us, we live in an unpredictable and ever-changing world.