What our Citizen Survey told us
People reporting that they can do what matters to them
44% of carers, 68% of children and 54% of adults reported that they can do things which are important to them. Supporting comments from carers in particular provide a valuable insight into the impact that caring responsibilities have on carers’ freedom to enjoy the hobbies and activities which they enjoy. Many have limited opportunities to pursue their own interests and have to balance their own needs with those of the person they care for. For the adult group there are limitations due to ill-health, disability and a reliance on others for transport. Many experience frustration with what used to be basic tasks for them.
I sometimes find it difficult doing my housework and simple tasks – opening tins, lifting, bending
I can no longer do my garden or clean my house – I find this beyond frustrating!
People reporting that they feel satisfied with their social networks
66% of carers, 85% of children and 82% of adults reported feeling happy with the support they receive from their family, friends and neighbours but many feel isolated from family who live great distances away and are unable to provide practical support. As a result some are reliant on the kindness of neighbours or the services of paid carers. Those who do have family in the area often feel that they are burden to grown-up children who have busy lives and commitments of their own.
Our daughters help us out when possible but they do have lives of their own and are not always able to help. They try and support us.
I have no family or friends in North Wales; I rely on my carer and wardens for support.
How well are we doing?
We’re improving – 56% of children who were in care, considered a child in need or on the child protection register achieved the core subject indicator at Key Stage 2 (PMC29a). This is an improvement on last year, and is similar to the average for Wales. At Key Stage 4, 12% of children achieved the core subject indicator (PMC29b), which again is an improvement on last year, and we’re nearly at the average for Wales. We would like to do even better.
Only 1% of looked after children had to move school once or more, during a period or periods of being looked after, which were not due to transitional arrangements – like going to secondary school – in the year to 31st March (PMC32). Again, this is an improvement, and we’re doing better than the average for Wales.
The Telecare team work with colleagues across the services to identify technologies which enable people to live independent lives as long as they are able to do so. For example, within Disability Services, we have been reviewing our 24/7 care packages and identifying opportunities to support service users to be more independent, such as positive risk taking through use of Telecare Systems to establish actual need.
Using the Telecare System to monitor night time activity, service users have gained confidence that they do not need a member of staff to be available at night. As a consequence, two service users have moved on to their own flat with significantly reduced support. In addition, the day hours used to support three people now support seven people, all of whom have experienced positive wellbeing outcomes through this exercise.
Respite for Children with Disabilities
In recent years the Integrated Disabilities Team has been established and as a result our in-house sessional support staff are now registered to deliver personal care to children. The Disability Service also have a range of clubs and activities accessed by children who need additional support.
Here are some examples of the activities offered:
- Snapdragons (5-11yrs)
Run weekly for 2 hours in various locations across the county; structured programme of play and developing independent living skills.
- 13+ Club
Takes place every other Saturday for a period of 3 hours at Canolfan Riviere. Various activities take place, for example, swimming, ten pin bowling etc.
- Transition Group (17-19 yrs)
This is a 3-hour group that runs every other Friday. This group was established to enable young people with the skills they need to prepare them for adulthood, for example, food preparation, travel planning, food shopping.
- Kids Camp (5-14 yrs)
Up to two days per week during the main school holidays. Social Care will provide one-to-one support if required.
- Out and About Holiday Club (13-19 yrs)
The club offers a full day once a week during school holidays. Activities and trips are included, taking children and young people out and about in the local community and wider.
- Independent Living Skills
Three groups take place during the school holidays for children in the 5-8 year age group, those aged 9-12 years and children and young people aged 13+. The two-hour sessions are based at the Tan Lan Community Centre and focus on developing individual skills via activities such as cooking, health and safety and food hygiene.
Respite activities make a real difference to children and young people with disabilities as the following observations from social workers demonstrate:
The service at Llys Gogarth has helped ‘C’ become more independent in being away from his family and has provided his parents with an opportunity to re-charge and visit places that they couldn’t go to.
‘B’ goes to the older range Independent Living Skills course and she enjoys learning new skills in a social environment.
‘A’ accesses the Out and About day and really looks forward to it. It provides a social activity for her with people her own age and ability, and also provides a little respite for mum in the holidays.
Flying Start, Team Around the Family and Rural Families First teams have been working together to provide support to families in their own communities.
They run engagement, learning and information sessions, such as parenting courses, stay and play, cuppa and a chat, active play, anti-natal courses, breastfeeding support groups and stroll and roll sessions at a variety of community venues across the county for parents. Many of the people we meet do not access, or have a fear of, traditional services.
The teams believe “we all require help at some time in our lives, whether it be information to help ourselves or support”. Our Family Support Workers have directly supported over 1,000 families this year. The support has dealt with a wide range of issues, for example: parenting, disability, substance misuse, housing, domestic violence, financial worries, benefits advice, parental separation, and poor mental health. It may have been on a one-to-one basis to help overcome a period of difficulty, or we may have organised multi-agency meetings on behalf of families to facilitate joint working with the family to create a single plan.
‘B’ was 19 and had a child living with an estranged partner; both were struggling and statutory children’s services were involved.
‘B’ lived at in an overcrowded property with their father, stepmother and two younger siblings, causing tensions to run high.
‘B’ was doing an apprenticeship in plumbing and was given full custody of his young daughter. ‘B’ was at risk of losing his job and he couldn’t manage on apprentice wages.
We supported ‘B’ with a referral to Welfare Rights, provided practical help with budgeting, helped find suitable accommodation, getting a flat deposit from NACRO and Conwy Housing Solutions, gained funding for white goods and furniture, provided emotional support and practical help with parenting a young child and a referral to the Holiday Fund.
The outcome for ‘B’ from this work is that ‘B’ is in a new flat with his daughter. Statutory children’s services are no longer involved, benefits have been corrected, a holiday has been booked to give ‘B’s family time to bond, childcare has been arranged and ‘B’ is able to budget and continue the apprenticeship.
I am happier, managing life better and enjoying being a dad
This post is also available in: Welsh