TOMORROW I will introduce a new piece of legislation, the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill.
It will be central to the transformation of social services by setting out the core legal framework for social services, care and support.
This is an excellent example of how we are using the new powers of the National Assembly to make a real difference to the lives of the people of Wales.
It will provide us with what we need to implement the programme of change outlined in Sustainable Social Services for Wales.
Its foundation is a belief that people and their care and support needs should be viewed within the wider context of family and community.
Indeed, communities will be vital if we are to move towards preventative services and more sustainable outcomes.
This goes hand in hand with another central principle of the Bill: the view that giving people a stronger voice and more control over services will result in better and more peoplefocused care and support. Not all of this programme will require new or amended legalisation to be implemented - many aspects are already under way. For example, I have already established the National Social Services Partnership Forum and citizen panels which have already given people a stronger voice.
Other key aspects will require us to create or amend legislation and where this is the case, the Bill is our vehicle for achieving this. It will also allow us to bring together and simplify the current legislation in some areas where no new powers are required.
It aims to give people greater freedom to decide which services they need while offering consistent, high-quality services across the country. I am pleased that the Sustainable Social Services agenda has been based on consensus and collaboration. Our thinking has been informed by debates in the Senedd, discussion with stakeholders, and by a range of evidence including that of the Independent …