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Understanding the parts

14 September 2015

Year 1 MASW students explore the 11 parts of the Act and offer brief summaries of their understanding.


  1. Abyd

    So, someone is going to have to go first! I was talking about Mark Drakeford’s 7 magnificent characteristics of social workers and mentioned an old social work text – Biestek (1957) The Casework Relationship, Loyola University Press, was translated into six languages. According to the New York Times, it “became the academic equivalent of a best seller, with more than 100,000 copies sold in English alone.” and also translated into French, Japanese, Norwegian, German, and Portuguese!

    He talked about the method of social work and discusses seven principles of the relationship vis-à-vis the individual; purposeful expression of feelings; controlled emotional involvement; acceptance; non-judgmental attitude; client self-determination; and confidentiality. These could be seen to still relevant to the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) 2014 Act.

  2. Part 2: General Functions

    Part 2 (General Functions) of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, aims to promote the well- being of people and carers who need care and support, including preventative services. The Act lays out detailed principles that are citizen-centred, forming the basis of well-being duties. This encompasses standards of the UN (United Nations) Principles for Older Persons and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    Part 2 (General Functions) states that the Welsh Ministers will write a well-being statement, explaining its definition and how to measure if people’s well- being is improving. It also states that Welsh Ministers must write a code to help achieve the outcomes detailed in the statement. The code will be open to consultation and all aspects of it will be clearly and openly communicated.
    Local councils and health boards are responsible to find out the nature and frequency of services required. An active offer of Welsh language provision is fundamental. Local authorities are also required to work collaboratively and promote the development of new organisations, businesses, charities and voluntary organisations. Additional information services, providing advice and assistance, must be provided.
    Finally the local authority will keep lists of people with known sight or hearing impairment or disabilities, as well as people who may need care and support in the future. Identifying people’s preferred language will be a requirement and documented on this list. Inclusion in the list is optional.

    • Abyd Quinn-Aziz

      Thanks Fin and others in the group. You’ve summarised the main points of part 2 well. This now starts to build a useful summary of the parts of the act for you all and each of you should have also become more familiar with at least one of the parts.

  3. Part 8: Social Services Functions

    Part 8 of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 discusses the functions of Social Services. This part of the Act makes it a requirement that all Local Authorities have a Director of Social Services in place who must demonstrate certain competencies that are set by Welsh Ministers (Local Authorities can share one Director).
    In Part 8, Ministers are given the power to potentially redefine the role of Social Services in Wales through the issuing and revising of new codes of practice and regulations. These new codes are subject to scrutiny and revision before being approved or rejected by the Welsh Assembly.
    Welsh Ministers also have the responsibility and authority to regulate and enforce these codes fairly and Local Authorities must cooperate with any directions they are given by Ministers.
    Local Authorities can however decide on alternative policies outside of the given codes if they have good reason to do so, but they must issue a policy statement to do this, publish the policy and inform the Ministers who can in turn reject it.
    If a Local Authority is failing or likely to fail, performs to a substandard level or acts unreasonably ministers can take action against this and intervene if no improvements have been made after three months of the Ministers issuing a warning.

  4. Part 9 Co-operation and Partnership

    Part 9 – Co-operation and Partnership.
    This part of the Social Services and Well-being Act (Wales) 2014, is split into three sections; Cooperation, Partnership Arrangements and Adoption. The first section (Cooperation) discusses the promotion of cooperation arrangements for adults with needs for care and support, carers and children. It states their well-being must be improved, protecting and improving the quality of care, outlines certain people must comply with a request from social services and the integration of care with health services. The Partnership Arrangement section covers the connections with other local authorities/health boards and what provisions must be provided, the resources for these arrangements, partnership boards and guidance about partnership arrangements. The last section looks at the Adoption service and joint arrangements within a partnership. It refers to the Adoption and Children Act 2002, section 3, and relates to provisions, and working with the specified people such as registered adoption societies and panels.

  5. Part 1: Introduction

    Part one of the Social Services and Well-Being Act provides an overview of the act as a whole, breaking down each of the 11 parts, giving a brief summary for each. In doing so we are able to understand the basic principles which this Act aims to tackle, which are:

    General duties of the persons exercising functions under this Act to promote well-being of people who need care and support (including carers), assessing the needs of individuals, meeting needs, charging and financial assessment, looked after and accommodated children, safeguarding, social services functions, co-operation and partnership, complaints, representations and advocacy services and any other relevant information not covered under those points.

    This part also highlights and explores key terms such as ‘Well-Being,’ outlining contributing factors like physical and mental health, education, domestic, family and personal relationships. Other key terms noted and discussed are the meanings of ‘adult,’ ‘child,’ ‘carer,’ ‘disabled,’ ‘care’ and ‘support.’

  6. Part 3 Assessing the Needs of Individuals

    Section 3 of the Social Services and Well-being Act (Wales) 2014 looks at the assessment of both adults and children. The act repeatedly talks about the involvement of the individuals and carers in decision making and achieving the goals set up by the Social Care worker and the individual. It also highlights an emphasis on the wider community in supporting and reaching those goals.

    Section 21 (4)(b)(i) details that the assessment should, where possible include what a child wishes to achieve. Some children may have unrealistic expectations and some people may argue that by including this, you could be in danger of building up a child’s hopes when realistically with the current climate you may not be able to actively offer this. A bit like the active offer debate? Successful practitioners are honest and upfront and this should be kept in mind, children should as far as possible be involved when appropriate in the process.

    The new act ensures that individuals, including children and carers, take ownership of the needs they have and what can be done to support them. The social worker’s role in this is to provide good information and communication of relevant resources and to facilitate the process of empowerment from assessment onwards.

  7. Part 10 Complaints, Representation and Advocacy Services

    Part Ten

    Part 10 outlines an individual’s right to complain and how, with additional support being made available. Readily available information and support may help remove the fear of complaining for individuals and give more control and confidence in service provision.

    Specifically, the part of the act is broken down into 3 sections:

    1. Complaints about social services and council ran services
    * The council will be regulated.
    * The council is obliged to help people make complaints/ help people access the appropriate resources to make complaints.
    * There will be individual rules for looked after children, adoption and special guardianship.
    * Complaints must be looked at by at least one impartial person.

    2. Private Social Care
    * The public services ombudsman is currently only able to investigate local councils and the NHS.
    * Under this act it can now investigate private care homes, privately funded home care and end of life care.
    * An independent advocacy service will also be available.

    3. Help to speak up about care and support
    * Regulations are being put in place that will make councils arrange advocacy.
    * They will state when to and who can provide advocacy.
    * It will be mandatory for private care homes to advertise this service.

  8. Part 7 Safeguarding

    Part 7 of the Social Services and Well- Being act looks at Safeguarding.

    It give Local Authorities the right to apply to court for an Adult protection and support order allowing the authority to speak in private with person at risk to ascertain if they are making decisions freely and asses if they are an adult at risk of, or suffering from harm and abuse and decide what action should be taken and by whom.

    National Independent Safeguarding Boards are to be set up for both adults and children to advise Welsh Ministers on safeguarding.
    New Safeguarding and protection boards will be set up so all services in every Local Authority work together to keep adults and children safe from harm, abuse or neglect.
    The above boards must co –operate with each other and publish annual plans for achieving its objectives.

    It places a duty on organisations and Local authorities to share information and report an adult/child at risk to the relevant Local Authority.

  9. Part 6 Looked after children

    PART 6:

    – Local authorities must provide looked after children with secure accommodation.
    – A local authority must provide accommodation for children:
    who have reached the age of 16 and whose well-being is considered at risk.
    who are being protected by the police.
    – Principal duty of a Local Authority in relation to a looked after child is to safeguard and promote the child’s well-being in relation to educational achievement, access to services as well as taking into consideration the child’s religious beliefs and racial origin.
    – Where possible, children should be placed in a home with someone suitable for them, in a safe environment, near their home, where they are able to carry on with school or training and (where applicable) live with any siblings.

    – When a child becomes looked after by a local authority they are responsible for preparation, review and maintenance of the care plan which must involve the child and any person with parental responsibility, as well as carrying out assessments when change of circumstance arises.
    – The L.A must provide a copy of the plan to all who are entitled and identify circumstances for when the plan should be reviewed, make further provisions regarding the decision to let the child live with a parent or medical examinations etc.
    – The local authority must look at all other options before deciding to place the child in accommodation outside the local area or whether the child’s well-being requires immediate placement.

    – Avoidance of disruption in education (fourth key stage)
    – Sets out regulations for foster parents and adopters, with reference to the child’s well-being, health and education arrangements, that the foster/adoptive family is of the same religious persuasion.
    – Foster families must be approved by local authorities, which can be reviewed by Welsh Ministers.
    – Promote and maintain contact between child and family (unless doing so is unreasonable to the child’s well-being)

    – Local authority is responsible for appointing an independent reviewing officer who is required to monitor the performance of the local authorities.
    – Each child case must go through a review. These regulations concern provisions such as time and frequency of each review, the views of the child/parent/person with parental responsibility, the implementation by local authorities of plans concerning the child and the arrangements for specific services.
    – During this review process, the child must be kept informed where practical. It is also mentioned that the local authority is responsible for promoting the well-being of the child after they ceased looking after the child. (achieved through advising, assisting and befriending the child where possible.)

    – 6 different categories of young persons are described in relation to their entitlement to support by local authorities. (stating different criteria referring to age of the young person, current and previous involvement with local authorities etc).
    – Goes into further detail into what is meant by the term “looked after, accommodated or fostered” children and also defines a “responsible local authority”.
    – Local councils must do what they can to promote a young person’s well-being even when they stop looking after the young person.

    – When a looked after child dies, the local authority must inform the Welsh Ministers and the child’s parents and/or those who have parental responsibility of the child, of his/her death.
    – The local authority may, with the consent of all who have parental responsibility of the child, arrange the funeral and help those who are close to the child and would otherwise be unable to attend the funeral, with the financial costs of attending.

    • Rachel Watts

      Apologies that Section 6 is so long! I had trouble cutting down everyone’s individual subsection paragraphs. Hope this will do.

      • Abyd Quinn-Aziz

        It is long and detailed which is why I picked a larger group to look at this part. Well done.

  10. Part 5: Financial Assessment and Charging

    PART 5:

    Part 5 of the Act covers the financial aspects of support by highlighting how services will be paid for, why certain services will cost and who will be liable for covering that cost.

    Although LA’s can request that people contribute towards the cost of their care and support, children cannot be charged. Therefore, the charge will need to be covered by the parents. There will be several regulations surrounding this part of the Act. These will involve restrictions such as a maximum amount an LA can charge and certain situations where the LA cannot charge at all.

    When it comes to individuals paying for their care and support, their ability to pay will be worked out by looking at that individual’s income and savings, if any. If a person cannot afford it then they will not be expected to pay. However, this decision lies with the LA that will contact the individual and inform them of their liability.

    For people who want to pay later, this can be arranged in certain situations but this will be regulated. For those who do not pay when expected to, the LA can take them to court.

    I believe this is an effective way to deal with the charging of services but I feel it will be interesting to witness the impact this has on benefit eligebility such as PIP and how many people continue to apply for such benefits with there being an implementation of ongoing changes to the way in which support services are received and funded.

  11. Part 4 Meeting Need


    Part 4 is about meeting peoples needs. It means that the Local Authority MUST check someones assessment against eligibility criteria, they MUST also check if the person is at risk of abuse or neglect. If a person meets eligibility the criteria or is at risk of abuse or neglect then the LA must help. Children who meet the eligibility criteria or are risk of abuse, neglect or other harms must be helped by the LA however the LA do not have to meet of a child’s needs, only those that are not being met by the family. LA’s now have ‘special powers’ to step in if they need to and help those most at need.
    Local authorities may help carers by providing a service for the person they care for, LA’s can do this even if a person they care for does not meet the eligibility criteria.
    When people meet the eligibility criteria LA’s must work out how to meet their needs and whether to charge for services. Home care visits must be long enough to meet the person’s needs.

    Direct Payments:
    There will be new regulations for direct payments in relation to how to work out how much money to give the person, rules about paying the money to the person, rules a LA can or can not make when they give someone direct payments, support for people getting direct payments, stopping someones direct payments, giving people enough info to make a choice about direct payments.

    Right to a ‘care and support plan’:
    If someone meets the eligibility criteria the LA must write a plan. People with care and support needs will get a support plan. There will be regulations about preparing a plan, including who has a say, what to put in a plan and checking and changing plans. If a person moves home, their local authority must tell the new LA and send a copy of the care and support plan and any other information the new LA asks for. Then the new LA must start its own assessment of what a person needs. Until the new assessment is finished, the new local authority must provide whats is in the original care and support plan as far as they can. Plans move with the people. However, it is important to remember that this rule does not apply for carers. A person may wish to stay somewhere that costs more than the LA expects to pay. The person can chose to stay there and pay the extra cost if they wish to. If someone over the age of 16 is to go into hospital or a care home then the LA must do what they can to stop their things getting lost or damaged and ensure their property is protected.

  12. Langelihle Siwela

    Part 11 – Miscellaneous.
    This section applies when an establishment or Agency is not able to carry on or manage an establishment, if they close down because of business failure. the Local Authority (LA) has a duty to meet the needs of those adults for care and support and to met the relevant carers needs for support. The LA has to meet these regardless of whether the person is ordinarily resident in another area. The LA has to meet the needs regardless whether they have carried out needs assessments or financial assessments.

    Section 192
    This is the amendment of the National Assistance Act 1948.

    Section 193-195 Recovery of costs between Local Authorities
    The above parts of the Act state that Local Authorities can claim back from other local authorities if they provide care and support to a person who is not ordinarily resident in their area. Meaning if Cardiff pays for care services and support of a person who is ordinarily resident in Caerphilly there will be mechanisms put for the other LA to pay back. If they do not agree to pay, the Welsh Minister or the appointed person will decide for them. The positive part behind this is that people will still get care and support.

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