The Act will:
- Strengthen powers for the safeguarding of children and adults, so that vulnerable people at risk can be protected more effectively;
- Ensure people are assessed on what they need, rather than just on what services are available locally;
- Introduce portable assessments, which means if people move from one part of Wales to another they will not need to worry about whether they will receive services in their new area;
- Facilitate an increased take up of direct payments to meet people’s care and support needs, meaning people will have more control over how these needs are met;
- Introduce a National Outcomes Framework to set out very clearly what children and adults can expect from social services, to measure achievements and see where improvements are needed;
- Introduce equivalent rights for carers so that people who care for someone such as an elderly or disabled relative or friend would get similar rights to the people they care for; and
- Establish a National Adoption Service to improve the outcomes of children in need of a permanent family.
The First Minister, as Keeper of the Welsh Seal, applied the Seal to the Letters Patent in a ceremony in Cardiff earlier today [Thursday 1st May 2014].
First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
“Through our ambitious five year legislative programme, we are introducing ‘made in Wales’ solutions to the issues affecting us as a nation.
“This Act is a landmark piece of legislation, one of the most significant the Assembly has passed since it acquired full law making powers in 2011.
“There is nothing more important to this Government than protecting our most vulnerable citizens and helping to improve their health and wellbeing. In doing so, we need to provide for the right kind of support when it is needed. This Act will do just that.”
Deputy Minister for Social Services, Gwenda Thomas said:
“It has been a real privilege for me to lead the development and delivery of this Act on behalf of the Welsh Government. I am delighted it has now received Royal Assent.
“This is an Act for people and about people. At its heart is a strong focus on individual rights. It will ensure a strong voice and real control for people, of whatever age, enabling them to maximise their wellbeing. It will set the legal framework and infrastructure to transform services to meet changing social expectations and changing demography.
“These are just part of the once in a generation transformational framework that we have created for social services in Wales.”