Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act came into force on 6 April 2016.
The Act provides the legal framework for improving the well-being of people who need care and support, and carers who need support, and for transforming social services in Wales.
The essentials document provides an overview of the Act and its wider legal framework.
Read the statement issued by the Minister for Health and Social Services on 1 April 2016 about the implementation of the Act.
The White Paper, Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action, published in 2011, highlighted a number of challenges faced by public services in Wales.
These included demographic changes, increased expectations from those who access care and support as well as continuing hard economic realities.
The Act aims to address these issues and in doing so will give people greater freedom to decide which services they need while promoting consistent, high-quality services across the country.
It will transform the way social services are delivered, promoting people’s independence to give them stronger voice and control.
You can find links to all the key primary legislation relating to social care in Wales on the Law Wales website.
The fundamental principles of the Act are:
Voice and control – putting the individual and their needs, at the centre of their care, and giving them a voice in, and control over reaching the outcomes that help them achieve well-being.
Prevention and early intervention – increasing preventative services within the community to minimise the escalation of critical need.
Well-being – supporting people to achieve their own well-being and measuring the success of care and support.
Co-production – encouraging individuals to become more involved in the design and delivery of services.
How the Bill became an Act
Follow the progress of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill, from when it was introduced to the National Assembly on 28 January 2013 to when it became an Act after receiving Royal Assent on 1 May 2014. Here, you can also find the Explanatory Memorandum, which provides a general explanation of the legislation, including all its different parts.
Children and young people
On 30 June 2015, the Minister for Health and Social Services Mark Drakeford issued a written statement detailing how the Act will meet the needs of children and young people.
In this video, filmed at the Family Justice Network Conference in Cardiff in January 2016, Ruth Henke QC gives a presentation on local authorities' responsibilities for looked after children under the Act.