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Who’s going to help you and your family if you need care and support?

02 March 2020
Sue Evans, our Chief Executive

Most people in Wales are relatively fit and well, and may not be thinking about who would help them if they had an accident, health condition, disability or illness that meant they were reliant on others for care and support.

Many of us are not thinking about getting older and becoming frailer, so we are probably not adequately preparing for changes that may happen in the future.

We may not be wondering about a parent who is having difficulty keeping their child safe and providing them with a loving family home, where their children are able to flourish and grow into healthy and independent young people.

Fortunately, most people have family, neighbours and friends who can provide practical and emotional support, and there is a wealth of voluntary organisations and community groups providing essential help across Wales.

Sometimes, higher levels of protection and support are needed, which is where the expertise and skill of social workers and front-line social care workers is invaluable.

Your local social services department, in each local authority area of Wales, can provide information, advice and assistance, to help us keep safe, remain independent, manage our lives and sustain our well-being for as long as we are able.

The Welsh Government has recently announced its intention to engage with the public about the future of social care, including how best do we, as a nation, make sure social care support is there for us all, when we need it.

The UK Government has also said it wants to find a long-term funding solution for social care.

Most public services in Wales are free at the point of delivery, whereas social care is means-tested, which means some people pay towards their care.

When people pay, they are contributing to the actual cost of care and local authorities subsidise those costs.

With demands for care and support rising, reflecting increased needs within the population, local authorities are finding it difficult to meet current and future needs.

There is a strong desire to transform and improve the way social care is provided, including prevention and early intervention, and better alignment with health, housing and other public services.

This is proving challenging in the current financial climate, where local authorities’ budgets have not increased enough to meet cost pressures from rising demand for all their services.

The Welsh Government is considering a range of options to raise more income, which would be targeted towards social care, and they will be discussing this during 2020.

Political parties in Wales are preparing their manifestos for the election in 2021 and social care is likely to be a feature of their priorities for action.

If you are interested in helping the current and future Welsh Government find a sustainable solution for meeting the future needs for social care, look out for ways you can have your say, on the Welsh Government website.