Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan has launched a consultation on improving the experiences for many people using health and social care services.
The consultation will seek responses on proposed legislation to support the commitment to eliminate profit from the care of children looked after.
This is a key element of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru. The initial focus of the proposals is on the private provision of residential care for children, alongside independent sector foster care.
The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru share a vision for the future care of children in Wales to be provided by public sector, charitable or not-for-profit organisations and for public money invested in the care of children looked after to be spent wholly on services that deliver better experiences and outcomes.
Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
Our ambition is to redesign how we look after children and young people and eliminating private profit from the care of children is a key component of this. Children are at the heart of everything we do, and they have told us that they do not want to be cared for by privately owned organisations that make a profit from their experience of being in care. Profits should not be made from caring for children facing challenges in their lives.
Plaid Cymru Designated Member, Sian Gwenllian said:
I believe that eliminating profit from the care of looked after children and young people is vital to driving forward improvements in the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens. Working with Welsh Government, Plaid Cymru looks forward to seeing a new framework in place which will remove profit from the care of children looked after, as part of our belief that reversing outsourcing in the public sector should be supported where possible.
Other areas being consulted on include:
• Enabling access to Direct Payments for adults eligible for Continuing NHS Healthcare, to allow them to decide how, when and by whom their care needs are met.
• Considerations of whether the duties to report children and adults at risk of harm, abuse or neglect should be expanded to apply directly to individuals within relevant bodies.
• Proposals to extend the definition of a ‘social care worker’ to include all childcare and play workers, to reinforce Social Care Wales’ support for the sector.
• Changes to improve how Social Care Wales supports and regulates the social care workforce and how Care Inspectorate Wales regulates and inspects services.
Ms Morgan continued:
I am determined that we continue to improve the quality of experience for everyone who uses our social care services. This consultation sets out how our proposals will help us to deliver our wider vision for the care and support available to families, children and young people. And will further strengthen the voice and control of disabled and seriously ill adults, and their carers, better supporting people to maintain their independence. I look forward to engaging with all those who have an interest in continuing to improve our health and social care system.
Chief Social Care Officer for Wales, Albert Heaney said:
We want to listen to the voices of those using social care services in Wales so we can shape legislation and services around their care and support needs. The responses to this consultation will help us strengthen care and support, ensuring the voice of our citizens, care experienced young people and their carers is heard.
“By working together we can improve our health and social care system for everyone now and in the future and better support people to maintain their independence.
The consultation will run until the 7th November 2022.