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    New social work reforms have been described as the most significant legal changes in Wales.

    The Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 became law on the 1st of May and is the basis for an overhaul on the workings of adult and children’s social care in the country.

    The changes include the creation of a National Adoption Service, portable assessments which will follow individuals if they move between local authorities and a National Outcomes Framework which sets out what children and adults should expect from the services. The Act also gives carers rights equivalent to those they care for and introduces measures designed to increase the use of direct payments, reports Community Care.

    The Act also includes measures that see extensive revisions to the regulations concerning looked-after children and rules designed to ensure people are assessed on their needs, rather than on what services are available locally. Local authorities will also need to provide or arrange preventative services whilst also promoting the provision of these services through social enterprises, co-operatives, user-led services and the voluntary sector.

    Gwenda Thomas, deputy minister for social services, said: “The Act is a transformational and, I believe, a radical act. It is the most extensive and significant act to be passed by the National Assembly for Wales since devolution fifteen years ago. It will have a direct impact on the lives of many of our citizens, if not most of them. The Regulation and Inspection Bill will be the sibling of the first. It will reform our regulation and inspection regime in social care in Wales to reflect the new world we are creating. It will require a new focus on wellbeing in our system, and refocus the regulation of social care towards outcomes for people. It will establish a new Institute of Care and Support, building upon the good work of the Care Council for Wales but going further to create a strategic hub for improvement in the social care sector.”

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    May 13, 2014 by Laura Matthews Categories: Adult Services

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