Social workers to gain powers to enter homes in abuse cases

Welsh government publishes legislation to overhaul social services.

Social workers in Wales would gain powers to enter homes where abuse is suspected to assess adults at risk under legislation to overhaul social services in Wales, published yesterday.

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill would create adult protection and support orders, which would be granted by the courts to council social workers  where they have reasonable cause to suspect an adult is at risk but would need to enter their home to assess them.

“Authorised officers” within councils, who are likely to be in lead adult safeguarding roles, would be able to apply for such orders and to enforce them, accompanied by a police officer.

Powers to enter homes and assess adults at risk already exist in Scotland, under adult safeguarding legislation; the UK government is also considering including such a power in the draft Care and Support Bill.

Like the draft Care and Support Bill in England, the Welsh legislation is designed to implement the Law Commission’s recommendations to encompass all council adult social care duties and functions within a single statute. But it but would also extends this approach to children’s social care, reflecting the continuation of integrated social services departments in Wales.

Read more on the Welsh bill and how it differs from legislation to reform social care in England

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