New guidance on the role and accountabilities of directors of social services in Wales has been welcomed by sector leaders.
The Welsh government guidelines will ensure directors become a member of the top management team” in their council, reporting directly to the chief executive.
Neelam Bhardwaja, the newly-appointed president of the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru, said this requirement would strengthen the influence of some directors who did not currently have direct access to chief executives and raise the profile of social services across local government.
Key council position
“The guidance reflects the role of director as a key position in the council,” Bhardwaja said. The director of social services and education at Cardiff Council added that the document would help to build confidence and improve consistency in services across Wales.
Directors must also present to the council an annual improvement plan which the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales will take into account in its new inspection regime.
They are required to promote a culture of continuous learning and produce and deliver a workforce plan to ensure “a sufficiently large, skilled, safe and focused workforce”.
Social worker training
They must also forge partnerships with universities for the delivery of qualifying and post-qualifying training for social workers, and produce a strategic plan to secure a sufficient quantity of qualified social workers for their authorities.
In safeguarding, directors must ensure the effective operation of the local safeguarding children board and adult protection committee and raise the profile of adult protection in the authority.