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									     Who is this leaflet for?
     This leaflet has been prepared for the general public. It tells
     the reader about the Social Services Department’s
     Strategic Plans for 2002-7. It tells you something about
     what the plans contain. It also describes how you can gain
     access to the plans and how you can make comments
     about them.


     What is a Strategic Plan?
     The National Assembly for Wales requires Social Services
     Departments to prepare strategic plans that outline the
     main changes that they intend to make to improve services
     over the next five years.
     The Social Services Department has prepared two
     strategic plans – one for services for adults and one for
     services for children and their families.


     What do the Strategic Plans say?
     The Strategic Plans have been written to focus on a
     number of important themes, which we will describe
     below. The themes are based on government intentions for
     improved social services and they also take into account
     the aims of the Local Authority as a whole.
     The key themes in both Strategic Plans are:
     q Social inclusion
     q Independence
     q Responsiveness
     q Carers
     q Workforce
     q Effective services

2 A Guide to Social Services Strategic Plans
q Effective management
q Safeguards
q Planning / Partnership
The Plans describe what we have been doing under each
of these headings and what we intend to do in order to
make improvements in the years ahead.
The Plans do not describe in detail everything that the
Department does or intends to do. Instead they provide an
outline of how we want to make progress.


Social Inclusion
Social exclusion is a shorthand term for what can happen
when people or areas suffer from a combination of linked
problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes,
poor housing, high crime environments, bad health and
family breakdown.
This is the government’s description of social exclusion.
Trying to tackle the problem of social exclusion is known
as promoting social inclusion.
Much of the Department’s work is aimed at dealing with
problems in people’s lives, supporting them in their own
communities as far as possible. For example, with children
and young people, a particular focus of our work might be
to support them to remain in school. On the other hand, for
working-age adults with a disability or mental health
problem, we might support them to look for appropriate
employment.
In addition to work we are already carrying out in support
of social inclusion, some of the things we would like to do
over the coming years include:-
q Develop a supported accommodation project for young
  people whose needs are not met by existing projects;

                             A Guide to Social Services Strategic Plans 3
     q Develop a respite service for Looked After Children to
       help prevent family or placement breakdown;
     q Develop more opportunities for employment for
       excluded groups;
     q Run targeted welfare benefits campaigns to encourage
       people to claim what they are entitled to;
     q Develop consultation arrangements to help us hear the
       views of older people. (This will be in addition to
       arrangements already in place for other groups of
       service users.)
     q Work with other services to understand the needs of
       minority ethnic groups and groups of special interest
       and develop services that are sensitive to those needs.


     Independence
     ‘Independence’ means different things to different people
     at different times in their lives. It means being able to take
     care of yourself or getting the right support to help you
     take care of yourself appropriately. For example, young
     people growing up may need support to learn how to live
     independently of parents or those who have cared for
     them. Old people may need help to make food for
     themselves, or perhaps to get dressed.
     Promoting independence can involve developing
     supportive services that promote choice, or offering
     opportunities for gaining practical, educational and social /
     leisure skills and interests.
     In addition to work we are already carrying out to support
     independence, some of the things we would like to do over
     the coming years include:-




4 A Guide to Social Services Strategic Plans
q Improve the quality of support for vulnerable young
  people as they enter adulthood;
q Provide more rehabilitative services which help get
  people back to their own homes after a stay in hospital
  instead of being admitted to long-term residential care;
q Change the focus of existing services to be more
  rehabilitative;
q Promoting and extending various arrangements that
  enable people to take more control over the support
  they receive (e.g. Direct Payments, Independent
  Living Funds).


Responsiveness
Responsive services treat individuals as individuals, with
their own needs and circumstances, their own choices to
make. Responsive services match services to individual
users’ needs, instead of putting users into whatever
services are available for all users.
In addition to work we are already carrying out to make
services more responsive, some of the things we would
like to do over the coming years include:-
q Improve the ways in which we assess the individual
  needs of children and adults;
q Ensure we have available a suitable range of options for
  accommodating children and young people who are
  unable to remain at home;
q Examine our services and consider ways in which we
  can make them more responsive;
q Provide more information to make sure people know
  about the choices that are available to them.



                             A Guide to Social Services Strategic Plans 5
     Carers
     A carer is somebody who looks after a relative or friend
     who cannot manage at home without help because of
     mental or physical illness or disability and / or the effects of
     old age.
     As many as one adult in every six is caring for another
     person at any time and substantial numbers of children
     and young people also act as carers (young carers). In fact,
     the majority of help received by people in society who
     need support comes from friends or relatives acting as
     carers.
     In addition to work we are already carrying out to support
     carers, some of the things we would like to do over the
     coming years include:-
     q Carry out more and better quality Carers Needs
       Assessments;
     q Train social work staff to carry out better quality
       assessment of carers needs and identify the needs of
       young carers they may come into contact with;
     q Create additional services for carers and for young
       carers which are flexible and responsive to their needs;
     q Provide more and better information to carers;
     q Start up an action group focusing on the needs of young
       carers, involving young carers themselves;
     q Support initiatives to help carers return to work.




6 A Guide to Social Services Strategic Plans
Workforce
We can only deliver quality social care services if we can
attract a quality workforce and continue to improve the
quality of the existing workforce. People receiving services
provided or purchased by the Department should be able
to rely on a workforce that is appropriately qualified, well
trained, which has the right kind of attitudes and beliefs, is
effectively supported and managed and is properly
regulated (that is, inspected from outside).
In addition to our current work to make sure we have a
quality workforce, some of the things we would like to do
over the coming years include:-
q Produce a Human Resources Strategy to develop the
  Department’s own workforce and the wider social care
  industry in Swansea;
q Further improve our screening procedures to keep
  unsuitable people out of the social care workforce;
q Increase the skills, abilities and qualifications of staff to
  make sure they are appropriately equipped to carry out
  the work they are employed to do;
q Introduce a standard induction pack in the Department
  to help new staff get started;
q Improve the ways in which we develop our staff through
  management practices e.g. improve on Personal
  Development Planning;.
q Retain the ‘Investors In People’ award which the
  Department gained in recognition of its efforts to
  develop and support staff;
q To reduce the rate at which staff leave the workforce,
  especially in childcare and the Home Care Service.




                               A Guide to Social Services Strategic Plans 7
     Effective Services
     Social services departments need to deliver effective and
     efficient services, but with an appropriate balance between
     cost and quality. We also need to be able to make sure that
     we can improve services into the future so that we don’t
     stand still in a changing world.
     In addition to work we are already carrying out to make our
     services more effective, some of the things we would like
     to do over the coming years include:-
     q Build new ways of arranging for services to be provided
       to support people who need our help;
     q Use inspection reports to improve the ways we work;
     q Improve the amount and quality of monitoring we carry
       out on our own services and those we pay others to
       provide;
     q Produce routine information reports about services we
       run ourselves;
     q Introduce better ways of finding out what our users think
       about our services, especially by talking to them directly.


     Effective Management
     Effective managers understand how the services they
     manage work and what they would need to do to make
     their services more effective. Effective managers also know
     what is happening in the world around them and they take
     steps to continue to improve their skills and understanding.
     In addition to work we are already carrying out to make our
     management more effective, some of the things we would
     like to do over the coming years include:-




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q Support managers to put new policies and procedures
  into place and make sure they are being followed;
q Improve the ways in which we plan our services each
  year;
q Train managers in new skills and methods, including
  making good use of information about the services they
  manage;
q Improve and develop new ways to support managers to
  understand the environment they work in;
q Carry out a programme of service reviews to look at
  how well they are being run;
q Create arrangements to consult with users and their carers;


Safeguards
One of the most powerful ways of safeguarding people is
to give them a voice. Modern social care services listen to
what service users want and develop ways to increase
choice, promote independence and apply appropriate
safeguards. Services that provide social care, legal,
financial and practical support to vulnerable people have a
duty to safeguard the people they assist. The challenge is
to ensure that the individual remains in control of their own
life as far as possible.
In addition to work we are already carrying out to improve
safeguards, some of the things we would like to do over
the coming years include:-
q Further strengthen our child protection arrangements,
  working with other agencies to safeguard the welfare of
  children and their families;

q Continue to strengthen our arrangements to protect
  vulnerable adults;


                              A Guide to Social Services Strategic Plans 9
     q Improve the ability of service users to speak up for
       themselves by promoting self-advocacy, advocacy
       schemes and service user groups;
     q Further improve the way we respond to complaints or
       comments from users or the public;
     q Monitor services in ways that check high standards are
       being maintained;
     q Improve communication between ourselves and other
       agencies we work closely with.


     Planning / Partnership
     The provision of social care services to the people of
     Swansea is only possible by working together with a range
     of other organisations.
     The Health Service and the Education and Housing
     Departments are some of our most important partners. We
     also work with a large number of other organisations to
     provide support for vulnerable people in Swansea.
     The government’s aim is that local government and health
     organisations should provide a ‘seamless’ service. That is,
     a service where the service user does not ‘see the joins’
     between the organisations helping them.
     We are working with our partners to make progress in each
     of the themes of the Strategic Plans — we aim both to
     work and to plan better together. Some additional things
     we would like to do over the coming years include:-
     q Improve the ways we plan services with our partners;
     q Explore new ways of running services with our
       health partners;




10 A Guide to Social Services Strategic Plans
q Help users and carers make an effective contribution to
  planning in all service areas;
q Extend the range and nature of services available to
  older people, working with the health service;
q Further improve our relationships with providers of
  housing and / or care.


Where can I see the full Strategic Plans?
This leaflet is a summary of the Strategic Plans. The main
document provides more detail on what we are currently
doing, what we intend to change or improve and how we
hope to make those changes.
The Strategic Plans themselves are large professional
documents. They are not as easy to read as this
document, which has been specifically prepared for the
general public.
You can see the Strategic Plans at a number of locations
throughout the County:-
q Guildhall and County Hall reception areas
q Local Authority libraries
The Strategic Plans are also available electronically for
anyone to see on the Internet on the social services pages
of the City and County of Swansea’s website at
http://www.swansea.gov.uk/socialcare
You can obtain a copy of the Strategic Plan directly from
the Commissioning Support Unit of social services.
Please ring 01792 636693 or write to us at the address
given below.




                              A Guide to Social Services Strategic Plans 11
    How do I make comments about this
    leaflet or the Strategic Plans?
    You can write to us at:-
       Strategic Plans
       Commissioning Support Unit
       Social Services Department
       County Hall
       Oystermouth Road
       Swansea SA1 3SN
    If you would like more copies of this leaflet or if you need
    copies in languages other than English or Welsh or in a
    format other than print, please contact us at the above
    address or on ¤ 01792 636693.


    How will I know the Plans are being
    achieved?
    The Department recognises that there are many things that
    need to be improved and that many of you will be
    interested in the progress we are making to put these
    improvements in place.
    We are working to make better use of local newspapers,
    including the Local Authority’s own Swansea Leader, which
    goes to every household in the authority area. We hope to
    keep you informed regularly about improvements we make.
    We will also use our Internet pages to keep you up-to-date
    on our progress.




12 A Guide to Social Services Strategic Plans

								
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