Welsh health and social services minister Mark Drakeford has set out how £14 million will be allocated over the next two years to help councils and other bodies grapple with the changes required by the Social Services and Well-being Act (Wales) 2014, which comes into force in April 2016.
Speaking at a meeting of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), Drakeford said funding would be targeted at “workforce readiness”, including training, producing good practice guidance and a “one stop shop information hub”, as well as awareness-raising amongst the wider population and cross-sector preparation work within regions.
He praised the leadership already shown by local authorities, health boards and the Care Council for Wales when preparing for the legislation. He said the “new system for social care” would focus efforts on promoting independence and control for adult service users and prevention and early intervention in children’s services.
“As we move to implementation, all parties will need to sustain this deliberate and high-profile leadership, including reaching out across a wide range of organisations and partners, even beyond the usual boundaries of the traditional social care sector,” Drakeford said.
For 2015-16, £1 million will be made available for the Care Council for Wales to develop a national learning and development strategy. £7.1 million (£11 million with local authority match funding) will support the development of cross-sector regional training plans and the Delivering Transformation grant will double to £3 million.
Further grant funding to support the embedding of the reforms is planned for 2016-17, in addition to the Intermediate Care Fund for health and social care integration projects.