Social Workers Play a Vital Role in Protecting Individuals and Families; ADSS Cymru Marks the Challenges Faced by Social Services in Wales at the Start of Social Care Week: Monday, 21 June 2010 THEPROFESSIONALS
SOCIAL Care Week celebrates the excellent work of the 88,000 social care workers and social workers who support individuals and families in Wales. Social work is hugely rewarding and also very challenging.
A key responsibility for social services is to ensure the protection of adults and children and to take action against those who cause them harm.
In exercising this duty, social workers often confront difficult behaviour and manage danger and uncertainty. They have to strike a balance between control and empowerment in delivering the appropriate care. This is at the heart of good social work practice. Sadly, the role is undermined whenever social services are hit with unfair headlines.
Welsh councils spend more than pounds 1.4bn on social services to around 82,000 people across all age groups. The demand for services is growing rapidly at a time when we are preparing for years of unprecedented funding constraints.
These financial pressures come from a range of factors, including the increasing number of elderly people and people with long-standing and complex disabilities.
In order to continue to deliver services of the highest quality, we are looking to commission and provide services in a smarter way. This includes retaining our frontline staff, whose greatest strengths are their flexibility and ability to deal with complex human situations.
Councils need to carefully budget. But clarity is required on how the Welsh Assembly Government's policy programmes on carers, dementia, mental health and other key areas will be funded.
The work of the Independent Commission on Social Services in Wales, and the outcome of the Green Paper on how we pay for social care, will hopefully set the right direction on the future funding of social care in Wales.
As the dust begins to settle on the General Election, we are concerned that the commitment of the new Westminster Government, and the Welsh Assembly Government, to protect frontline health and education services will not extend to frontline social services. …