In April 2016 the Social Services & Wellbeing Act (2014) became law. It replaces much existing legislation that impacts upon disabled people and carers by bringing much legislation together.
It should change the way that support is offered to carers and their families by placing them at the heart of decisions.
Rather than focus on the 'problem' and then try to find a 'fix', practitioners and people in receipt of services will be encouraged to identify what help they feel is required in order to achieve a desired outcome.
In this way resources should be better used, individuals have more of a say in how resources are used on their behalf and the focus will move on preventing an escalation of need rather than waiting until a situation becomes a crisis.
All parties should be encouraged to look to opportunities and support possibilities that exist within the community (or could be developed) rather than having to fit a limited range of rigid options.
The aims of the act reflect those that we have argued for over two decades but as ever we await its introduction to assess how it is actually implemented.
The parents Federation and third sector organisations have been involved in consultations with Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils' over how their approach to working with families is likely to change and shall continue feeding back parental views as the Act comes into force. It's Person centred approach offers much and many people may find opportunities increase as a direct consequence.
As with all new legislation there are many loose ends and some key issues will likely be subject to future legal challenges where definitions of statutory obligations are worked out. A critique of the act can be found here .
this page will be updated in the coming months but aims to be a basic introduction and signposting resource to families.