Putting social care on the agenda for the fifth Welsh Assembly

Sense Cymru is a leading member of the Social Care and Well-being Alliance Wales (SCWAW) and I’ve had the privilege this year of Co-Chairing the alliance. Last week we had the opportunity to host an event at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, home to the National Assembly for Wales, to raise the profile of our work amongst Assembly Members who joined the Assembly after the elections in May this year.

SCWAW is an alliance of more than twenty third sector organisations working in the field of social care. Our membership is wide and varied, with organisations representing all sectors of social care: children, older people, learning disabilities, carers – the list goes on and on. At the heart of our work is ensuring that the voices of people with care and support needs are heard in public policy debates.

As you can imagine, between us we had a lot to say and a lot of issues to speak on. However, our main aim was to provide a coherent voice on social care and to set out for Assembly Members our priorities as an alliance for the coming year.

At the top of our list is ensuring that the Social Services and Well-being Act, which is the new legal framework for social care in Wales, is implemented effectively.

At Sense Cymru, we have a particular stake in making sure local authorities are implementing this Act in accordance with the law. That’s because the Act sets out specific rights and entitlements for deafblind children and adults. These include:

• The right to an assessment by a specialist in deafblindness
• Access to specialist 1:1 support
• Access to information in a format that’s accessible to you

You can find out more about the Act and its relation to deafblindness on our website.

We want to make sure that you and your family get the social care support that you want and need, and that enables you to do the things you want in your life.

You’ll be glad to know, then, that new Assembly Members have been advised by their predecessors to take on the monitoring of this new Act and also that we have a twenty-organisation-strong alliance fighting our corner and keeping a watchful eye over local authority care and support services. Chief amongst our priorities will be ensuring that eligibility for social care isn’t diminished.

Do you have a story to tell about your experience of the change in social care in Wales since April 2016? Good or bad, get in touch with Angie Contestabile on angie.contestabile@sense.org.uk if you’re willing to share and we can campaign together for effective social care in Wales.

Author: Catrin Edwards

Swyddog Polisi ac Ymgyrchoedd | Policy and Campaigns Officer (Wales) for Sense Public Policy

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