We recognise that social care and early years in Wales will need to be very different in five years’ time to respond to changing demographic, economic and social needs, and we think that means that we, as an organisation, need to be very different, too.
The scale of the impact of Covid-19 on our work and day-to-day activities in just a few short months has been staggering. And it has served to highlight and underscore the need to change and be more flexible in our approach, and to embrace new opportunities and ways of working.
We recognise the challenges and opportunities ahead – both the immediate in response to Covid-19 and in the longer term – and want to do what we can to support the social care and early years sectors to recover, stabilise and reform.
This plan, which sets out our proposed priorities for the next five years, is our first attempt to grapple with the scale of change that we, and the sectors, will face over the coming months and years. The plan needs to be radical and it needs to be challenging.
Our draft priorities include developing a stronger role for research and evidence, focusing on the well-being and development of the workforce, and providing strategic and practical support for those who provide care and support services.
These priorities are based on evidence we’ve gathered and discussions we’ve had with the social care and early years sectors over the past three years, and more recently, during the height of the pandemic.
We want to hear your honest feedback about our proposed priorities so that we can be sure our five-year plan will meet the changing needs of the sectors and support the workforce, employers and leaders in the months and years ahead.
Sue Evans, our Chief Executive, said: “It goes without saying that this year has had an enormous and devastating impact on the social care and early years sectors in Wales, and we know there will be more change and challenges to come over the next five years.
“We want to make sure we are in a position to support the sectors to respond to this change in the most effective way possible and that’s why it’s so important we get your views about the priorities we propose.
“We appreciate that work is still extremely challenging, with often little time to deal with more than the day-to-day demands. But please try and find some time to answer the questions we’re asking.
“We want to hear from as many people and organisations as possible, and at all levels. So whether you’re a domiciliary care worker, a director of social services or the owner of a nursery, please take a look at our proposed plan and let us know what you think. This is an opportunity for you all to genuinely influence the future of social care and early years in Wales.”