Our Workforce and How We Support their Professional Roles
Development and Learning
Our annual Workforce, Development and Learning plan is aligned to SSWB (Wales) Act 2014. We have established an ‘Act into Practice’ group for practitioners to support their day to day implementation of the SSWB (Wales) Act 2014.
We are supporting non-qualified staff, who have an involvement in undertaken assessments, to go through the ‘Social Care Practitioner’ training scheme developed by Social Care Wales.
We have delivered SSWB (Wales) Act 2014 core module training on IAA – children and adults. Training places were made available to partner agencies such as BCUHB.
We have participated in the Collaborative Conversations – National Outcomes Framework. The programme builds effective communication skills in social work teams across both adult, children and multi-agency teams within departments and the main aim is to equip workers with the skills and strategies of ‘collaborative communication’.
We continue to support the delivery of one-day training sessions for managers in third sector and commissioned provider services to increase their knowledge of the SSWB (Wales) Act 2014.
Looking ahead, in partnership with North Wales’s Local Authorities and key stakeholders, developing a learning plan to support workforce requirements for registration as set out in the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act.
The culture change required to fully embed the SSWB (Wales) Act is a continuing process. In partnership with key stakeholders we are currently reviewing our learning and development programme and effectiveness of our training to ensure we can support the sector as a whole to meet the requirements of the SSWB (Wales) Act and the registration requirements of the Regulation and Inspection (Wales) Act.
2016/17 was another challenging year. Whilst all larger structural reviews were completed in 2015/16 as part of the service’s Transformation Programme, services continue to review the workforce now that the new management structure has ‘bedded in’, and in order to meet further efficiencies required. During 16/17 and 17/18 to date, there have been structural changes within Disability Services, Vulnerable People, Workforce Development Team and Training/Staffing Business Support.
Senior management hold a Workforce meeting on a monthly basis with HR and Workforce Development Manager to consider and address staff issues such as sickness, performance development reviews, grievances and disciplinary issues.
Financial Resources and How We Plan For the Future
Social Care regularly report to a number of scrutiny committees, taking 32 reports on a variety of topics during 2016/17.
The over-spend for Social Care was reported to the December 2016 Principal Scrutiny Committee. A Business Case, to reflect the current level of underfunding in the Social Care budget, was submitted and approved by Council as part of the budget-setting process for 2017/18.
In addition, further business cases were submitted, and approved, during the budget-setting process for 2017/18. This amount included additional costs associated with the Living wage, and service growth.
Social Services also had to identify significant savings in 2017/18.
The budget will continue to be closely monitored during 2017/18 through monthly budget meetings held with Service Managers, Service Accountants, Finance and Heads of Service. As part of that process, the progress in achieving the savings target will be carefully tracked and reported. The service also attends the Budget Consultation Group and senior management meet regularly with the Strategic Director, Finance & Efficiencies.
Our Partnership Working, Political and Corporate Leadership, Governance and Accountability
The Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 has created a set of national outcomes and place a duty on public bodies to put sustainable development at the heart of decisions. It should be a central organising principle to consider the environmental, social and economic impact of decisions. For Conwy County Borough Council they have been incorporated into the Conwy Corporate Plan. The 7 goals and 5 ways of working are aligned to Conwy’s 8 Citizen Outcomes, as outlined below.
Other priority areas which have been taken into consideration include:
Welsh Government Building Resilient Communities
Taking Wales Forward
The Welsh Government’s Well-being Objectives (2016-2021)
The process of assessing the priority actions reflected on the 5 ways of working and the Corporate Plan includes actions which are preventative not reactive, aim to work towards the longer term impact, are integrated in the consideration of how they contribute to the 7 Well-being Goals and are collaborative in terms of the focus on working closely with communities – so they are involved in owning and working collectively to meet the Citizen Outcomes. The Corporate Plan priorities have been considered by the Conwy & Denbighshire Public Services Board to reflect on where priorities impact on other public organisations and where there are opportunities for collaboration.
Communities were involved in developing the priorities and the Council will continue to involve communities going forward, particularly by connecting local community discussions through the development of place plans. Our cross-cutting themes refer to the importance of assessing our actions and key decisions in order to have a positive impact on tackling poverty, equality and promoting the Welsh language.
Within Social Care, our priorities are set by Service Managers in consultation with their teams, and are aligned with the Corporate Plan and the Social Care and Well-being Act quality standards. Progress is monitored regularly, with quarterly meetings held with Senior Management and Portfolio holders, with particular focus on risks and issues, staffing and performance.
In line with our Performance Management Framework, every six months Conwy reviews each service area to provide support and challenge, and to monitor our progress in meeting the Corporate Plan, the Service Plan priorities, key risks, performance measures, achievements, and areas of improvement.
The findings of these reviews are also documented and presented to Senior Managers and Elected Members in a Corporate Performance Report.
Each year by 31st October we will publish an Annual Report which will detail how we have progressed in the previous financial year in delivering the commitments we have made in the Corporate Plan. The Annual Report will include an evaluation of our key successes, performance measures and the areas where we need to make further improvements.
A recent review by the Welsh Audit Office found that the Council has sound governance arrangements for determining significant service changes but the consistency of equality impact assessment varies and there is a lack of transparency in the reporting of service change savings.
The Council has a clear strategic framework for planning and implementing service changes, and the ‘Team Conwy’ approach sets out a clear and well understood approach for service change governance arrangements.
Councillors robustly challenge business cases and options appraisals for service change monitoring arrangements to assess the impact are effective. Conwy’s stakeholder engagement is comprehensive, and the Council proactively reviews and improves the effectiveness of its decision-making arrangements.
This post is also available in: Welsh