We would all agree with this statement and probably recognise that, for some people, they need support to achieve that ambition.
Social Care Wales launched its five-year strategic plan in September, which sets out our vision: “We want every person who needs support to live the life that matters to them”.
We are all likely to know someone who needs care and support and many of us will depend upon good care in later life or if we experience a life changing event, such as an illness or accident.
The NHS relies on good social care being available to support patients when they are discharged from hospital and to keep people well at home, to avoid unplanned visits to A&E.
We have been consulting on a range of topics since we were established in April 2017 and have used your feedback to inform our priorities for action.
Our priorities are: leading and supporting improvement; developing the workforce; and providing public confidence.
Your responses show overall support to further professionalise the workforce by setting standards.
There is some concern the qualification requirements for domiciliary care workers are challenging and may discourage people from staying in the profession.
Many workers already meet our minimum standards and we will work closely with employers and the workforce to help them meet our standards, so that quality care is assured.
During 2017, we supported Qualifications Wales with designing a new suite of qualifications, reducing the number of health and care qualifications from 240 to 20. This will help improve the consistency of practice across Wales and provide assurance to people with care and support needs that those supporting them are competent to do so.
Concerns have also been raised about the fees that new registrants will need to pay. We know budgets are tight but our fees have not increased for more than 10 years. Our new fees will be in-line with similar bodies across the UK and would be much higher if we did not receive a significant Welsh Government grant.
Some commentators have requested more activity to support the childcare and early years workforce. We do not have regulatory responsibilities for this workforce, but we support the sector with a range of development activities and this will continue.
We are also working with Welsh Government to shape a new workforce strategy for the sector, which will support the ambition to increase the free childcare offer in Wales.
A Code of Conduct for Employers has generated positive feedback, with suggestions for improvement that will be considered before the final version is published in 2018.
The Code complements the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care and will be used by service regulators to ensure employers are fulfilling their responsibilities to provide a quality service and to support and develop their teams.
The social care research and development strategy has been warmly received.
Its main priorities are to develop the capacity and capability of research practitioners, increase research funding, improve public involvement and support practitioners to improve their practice by learning from research. We aim to launch the strategy and an implementation plan in early 2018.
Social Care Wales is delighted that Welsh Government has published ‘Prosperity for All’, its strategic priorities for the next few years. These priorities include designating social care, early years, housing, mental health and skills development as areas that require strong national focus.
All these priorities are reflected in our work and we will be doing all we can to lead and support improvement in these areas.