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Read our summer e-bulletin

10 August 2017
Social Care Wales

Welcome to the summer issue of Social Care Wales’s e-bulletin!

This issue we’re seeking your views about three consultations on different aspects of our work. We also have updates about the social care Accolades, which are back for 2018; the registration of domiciliary care workers; and our new and refreshed resources. You’ll also find links to our Chief Executive Sue Evans’s latest column for the Western Mail and a number of dates for your diary.

New proposals to transform care by raising standards and giving care work a higher status   

Proposals to help transform standards of care and raise the status of the social care workforce in Wales have been published. They are set out in our new consultation, 'Transforming care in the 21st century'. The proposed changes will underpin our five-year strategic plan, which will aim to achieve: 

  • for the public: confidence that workers have the right skills; clarity about the standards they should expect and information about care services
  • for employers of care staff: a national campaign to attract new recruits; workforce planning to meet future needs; resources to help staff work to a high standard and training for priority areas such as care and support at home, dementia and children in care
  • for care staff: a career structure; high-quality training to help their development and career; access to resources to help in their day-to-day work; greater public understanding of the complex work they do; and higher status as part of a regulated profession. Read more.

Join our webinars about our proposals

We will be holding four webinars between August and October for anyone wishing to find out more and ask questions about our consultation on regulatory matters, 'Transforming care in the 21st century'. The webinars are free and open to everyone, whether you’re already on our Register of Social Care Workers, an unregistered worker, an employer or someone who uses services. Read more.

Strategic plan consultation

Our Board is keen to get feedback for our first five-year strategic plan, which we plan to launch at the end of September. The proposed plan sets out our vision for the next five years, what we aim to achieve, our main focus areas and how we will work with others to realise our ambition. You have until 11 August 2017 to have your say. Read more.

Research and development strategy consultation

Our third consultation this summer is on our proposed five-year social care research and development strategy for Wales. The national strategy sets out a vision in which Wales is “internationally renowned for its excellent social care research that supports the people of Wales by informing and improving social care policy and practice”. If you’re interested in giving us your views, you have until 21 August 2017 to do so. Read more.

The 2018 Accolades are coming!

Next year will see the return of the Accolades. The Accolades have recognised, celebrated and shared the excellent practice of organisations, groups or teams in social care, and early years and childcare since 2005. They will continue in 2018 with more categories, giving you more opportunities to enter. To make sure you receive an entry pack as soon as they’re available, you can pre-register your interest

Do we really care about the quality of social care?

Our Chief Executive Sue Evans’s latest column for the 'Western Mail' was published on 10 July. Here’s what Sue had to say: “Valuing and supporting the social care workforce is already a priority for Welsh Government and for us all working in the social care arena. But it should be a priority for everyone, as it is fundamental to helping protect, empower and support children and adults facing difficulties in their lives.” Read more.

Domiciliary care worker registration FAQs

A set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the upcoming registration of domiciliary care workers has been added to our website. The FAQs are divided into two groups – those for employers and those for domiciliary care workers – and cover topics such as what is registration, who needs to do it and what registration involves. Read more.

New! Domiciliary care managers report available

We’ve published a new report about domiciliary care managers in Wales. 'Domiciliary care managers on the Register in Wales 2017' looks in detail at the 633 domiciliary care managers who were on the Register on 1 February 2017. The report includes statistics such as: where the domiciliary care managers are based; the groups of people they work with; the average age of the domiciliary care managers; the qualifications they hold; and whether or not they speak Welsh. Read more.

Early years qualifications list updated

The list of required qualifications to work within the early years and childcare sector in Wales was updated in April to include five new degrees approved by the sector. No qualifications were removed from the list. Read more.

Stories about the Act

As part of our work to support the implementation of the 'Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014', we’re looking for real-life stories about the positive ways in which the Act has helped people. We’d love to hear what your group or organisation has been doing differently since the Act came in to force and what the impact has been on people’s day-to-day lives. Read more.

Area plan toolkit available

A new toolkit to support the regional partnership boards in developing their area plans is now available on the Social Care Legislation in Wales Information and Learning Hub (the Hub). Under Section 14a of the 'Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014', regional partnership boards must develop area plans for their regions now they have completed their population assessments. Read more.

Learning on the Acts training programme a success

The national learning and development plan to help the social care workforce in Wales understand the implications of the 'Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014' on their work was a success and provided good value for money, says an independent evaluation study. The evaluation concluded the programme was successful, robust and had probably achieved more in a shorter period of time than other approaches. Read more.

Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act core modules updated

The five 'Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014' core training modules have been updated to bring them in line with legislative changes since their publication in 2016. The modules, which are available on the Hub, are: Introduction and General Functions; Assessing and Meeting the Needs of Individuals; Looked After and Accommodated Children; Safeguarding; and Assessing and Meeting the Needs of People in the Secure Estate. Read more.

FISSS Code of Practice

The Skills for Care and Development (SfCD) partnership has been awarded a quality mark for its high standards. The quality mark, known as the FISSS (Federation for Industry Skills & Standards) Code of Practice, is awarded to trustworthy skills development organisations. It confirms the organisation’s work is representative, impartial and sustainable for the long-term health of the sector it represents. Read more.

Services fit for the future

The Welsh Government is consulting on a new White Paper, 'Services fit for the future', that features a series of proposals on social care and health that may need future legislation. The paper’s proposals include strengthening the voice of those who receive care and support in the planning and provision of services, introducing new duties of quality and openness, and designing a clearer process for service change plans. You have until 29 September 2017 to have your say. Read more

Fully funded social care PhDs available

The Wales School for Social Care Research (WSSCR) is currently accepting applications for PhD studentship awards. The awards, which are funded by Welsh Government, provide funding for high-quality research and study that leads to a PhD qualification. The projects must be related to social care needs; the public and people who receive care and support; and/or the organisation and provision of effective social care services in Wales. Read more.

New perinatal mental health research project announced

NSPCC Cymru, The National Centre for Mental Health and Mind Cymru are working on a new research project that looks at perinatal mental health services in Wales. Over the next year, they will be mapping out what services are available for women experiencing perinatal mental health difficulties, and exploring what it’s like for women and their partners to live with, and manage, these types of illnesses.

To help them do this, they will be launching a number of online surveys over the next few months. They would like to hear from midwives, health visitors, and mental health teams who are practising in Wales; third sector organisations that provide perinatal mental health support to women; and women and their partners (18+) affected by perinatal mental health problems. If you’re interested in the project or would like to find out more, please email Dr Sarah Witcombe-Hayes at Sarah.Witcombe-Hayes@NSPCC.org.uk or call her on 029 2010 8038.

Tell us what you think about these e-bulletins

We want to hear your views about our e-bulletins. Do you find them useful? How often would you like to receive them? And what sort of content would you like to receive? We’d be grateful if you could spare a few minutes to answer the questions in our short survey. Take part in the survey.

Dates for your diary

16-17 August 2017 – Workshops about new guidance for domiciliary care workers, Cardiff and St Asaph. These workshops for social care managers and domiciliary care workers will discuss the new practice guidance we’re developing for domiciliary care workers. We will share a draft of the guidance, ask your views about them and explain our plans for registering domiciliary care workers. 

21 September 2017 – Health and Care Leadership Conference 2017: Leading by Choice. Academi Wales is hosting this event at the Mercure Holland House Hotel in Cardiff for managers and leaders in health and social care. Among the speakers are Vaughan Gething, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport; Dr Andrew Goodall, the Director General for Health and Social Services; and Sophie Howe, the Future Generations Commissioner. The event costs £75 per person. 

3 October 2017 – More than just words showcase event at Cardiff City Stadium. This event aims to raise awareness about the importance of Welsh language provision in social care and health. The event will celebrate and share the innovative work of individuals, teams and initiatives that provide high-quality bilingual care.