Citizen’s Voice and Control in Social Services


The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act became law on 1 May 2014 and it came into effect on April 2016. It provides the legal framework for improving the well-being of people who need care and support, for carers who need support, and for transforming social services in Wales.

The White Paper ‘Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action’ 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 offering consistent, high-quality services across the country. The Act is intended to ‘transform the way social services are delivered, promoting people’s independence to give them a stronger voice and control.’

A key requirement of the Act is that there are effective mechanisms in place to ensure that the voice of service users is central to service design and delivery: that people are enabled to co-design and direct any care or support provision in order that they are in control of their own wellbeing. And, this is the focus of a study which Wavehill are currently undertaking.

The North Wales Social Services Improvement Collaborative (NWSSIC) and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) have been working collaboratively across north Wales to deliver the transformation of services that are required within the Act and commissioned the research project. The focus was on two groups of citizens in particular – namely, looked after children and adults (of all ages) resident in care homes.

The work undertaken as part of the research included research and identification of areas of good practice in achieving or promoting ‘citizen voice and control’ within North Wales and further afield.

Contact: Endaf Griffiths

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