A former social worker is to chair an independent commission on the future of social services in Wales over the next 10 years.
Geoffrey Pearson, professor of criminology at Goldsmiths, University of London, will lead the Welsh Independent Commission on Social Services, which is due to report by November 2010.
It will look specifically at how the Welsh government can support professional development and build collaboration between social services and other agencies.
Pearson said: “There are some high-quality services in Wales but there are inconsistencies across what is a very diverse nation.” He hoped to address these discrepancies but warned that the commission would face a big challenge in meeting its deadline.
Gwenda Thomas, deputy minister for social services, said she was committed to ensuring the commission connected with the public before making its recommendations. “I am particularly concerned that the voices of service users and carers are central to the work of the commission and I shall ensure that proper arrangements are in place to make this a reality,” she said.
On Monday the Welsh government launched a consultation on the future funding of adult social care in Wales, which will feed into the commission’s report.
The green paper, Paying for Care in Wales, is the equivalent to the consultative proposals for funding social care in England issued by the UK government last July in Shaping the Future of Care Together.
Though social care is a devolved service, any changes to the funding system would have to be determined at Westminster.
Consultation on the Welsh green paper will run until February 2010, just before the UK government is due to produce a white paper on taking forward funding reform.