People are encouraged to be involved in the design and delivery of their care and support as equal partners
Children and Adult Forums
The Conwy Adult Participation Network has now resumed face to face meetings following the Covid-19 pandemic. Membership is open to anyone who is interested in the work of the Conwy Social Care Department and would like to share their views or those of any community groups or societies.
The Loud Voices Group for younger children who are looked after re-started in the summer of 2022, facilitated by the Independent Safeguarding and Reviewing Officers, WCVSC and the Quality Standards Team. Meetings are arranged per term or half term and offer activities as well as time to consult with the children on topics such as the introduction of the Mind of My Own app, and What Makes Me Feel Safe, during National Safeguarding Week.
The Shaping Futures Group for young adults face to face meetings were suspended during the pandemic and the Conwy Vulnerable People Team are currently coordinating engagement with young care leavers via:
- Use of the Mind of My Own App
- Care Leaver week held with young people in October
- A new website for Care Leavers: https://smallstepsbigfuture.wales/
What were the challenges?
The main challenge was facilitating face to face meetings once more and encouraging adults, children and young people to attend after a prolonged period of time with no meetings.
During 2023 we intend to review our Participation and Engagement Strategy with the involvement of people who use our services and who regularly attend our forums.
Small Steps Big Future Website
In the last year The Small Steps Big Future website for Care Leavers in Conwy has continued to grow and develop. To date there have been 1,779 page views, 778 visits and 571 visitors on the site. Young people are now able to apply for the St. David’s Day Fund via the website, giving them greater autonomy and flexibility. There is also the functionality for young people to comment on each article and page on the website
Within the Personal Advisor team, we devised as a project for the student in the team to gather Care Leavers’ views on developing the site further, ideas for activities for Care Leaver Weeks and how they wish to engage with their Personal Advisor. The information, views and opinions of young people gathered has been extremely valuable and is influencing how the team practice.
What were the challenges?
The challenge is to find ways to continue to engage young people and keep them involved and interested in implementing improvements – without their input it would be very difficult for us to develop the service.
Co-production with young people is an ongoing exercise, we will shortly be sending a survey to young people in relation to:
- What people would like to see on the website
- Interest in walking or other group activities
- How people want us to celebrate care leaver week this year
Care Leavers Week
National Care Leavers Week is an annual event held in October, offering the opportunity not only to highlight and focus on the ongoing challenges faced by care-experienced young people, but also showcase their incredible achievements and help make their voices heard. The week was a huge success with approximately a quarter of the young people we support popping into and or contributing to the event.
What has been done?
This year we decided to hold an event all week in Coed Pella that gave our young people the chance to demonstrate their skills and talents, which they did through a display of art work, a Morris Dancing demonstration and a daily presentation on local history. A wide variety of agencies also came along with information stalls, giving a range of support to young people, such as employment, training, mental health, and volunteering, to name a few, and in the process we aimed to reduce the stigma related to being in care. We also partnered with Voel Coaches who offered vouchers for the care leavers to book a trip of their choice, giving the young people the chance to enjoy special outings with friends and family, which has often not been experienced by them before. In addition, one young man created PowerPoint presentations on the history of the Great Orme Tramway, Colwyn Bay pier and his own journey through care. Another young lady prepared a presentation which showcased all of her own successes and how she ‘gives back’, for example through her work with Child Line.
What difference has it made?
Throughout the week the young people also spoke to us about what it is like for them to be in the care of the Local Authority and some of the stigma and discrimination they face. Their feedback will now be used to help us improve the delivery of the services we offer.
The week was a real success and the feedback we have received from the young people, their families and the services who attended the event has been so positive.
Developing Bron y Nant respite services
With the new respite centre at Bron y Nant opening this year, we contacted families who use our short breaks services to ask for their views on how provision should look in the future, and what should be included in the brochure required by Care Inspectorate Wales. We also asked families, people who use the service, and parents and carers to be part of the interview process for new staff being recruited into the service.
What were the challenges?
Some families were difficult to get hold of, and others didn’t want to give information as they are not able to be offered a service at the moment. Most, however, were happy to help with the consultation and the interview process for staff.
Once the recruitment process is complete, a service brochure will be completed, including photographs of the new building and a description of the services that will be offered there.
Llys Elian Residential Home: Harnessing the views of family members
In March we conducted a survey with the family and friends of individuals who live at Llys Elian residential home. We asked questions about the quality of support their loved ones receive at the home, and how involved they feel in planning and delivering care and support. The responses were overwhelmingly positive, with 100% of respondents agreeing that:
- They are listened to by Llys Elian management and staff, enabling them to make choices about the care and support received and the opportunities available to their loved one
- Their loved one is able to take part in meaningful activities at Llys Elian should they want to
- Their loved one is happy and supported in relation to their health and overall wellbeing and has access to health services and nutritious meals
- Residents feel safe and protected from abuse and neglect
- The service maintains the privacy, dignity and confidentiality of the residents
- Llys Elian is a comfortable environment where residents can personalise their space
- When friends and family visit their loved ones at Llys Elian, they are made to feel welcome
- Friends and family feel able to contribute to their loved one’s care and support
Additional comments made by respondents reveal the peace of mind that the high quality support at Llys Elian gives to family and friends:
Llys Elian is an excellent place with amazing staff that put 100% into caring.
The staff are always so kind and caring, we’re really grateful for what they do for mum. It’s clear mum is not just a ‘service user’ to them, and that really means something to us all.
In my humble opinion Llys Elian is the best place I could ever want for my dad. They are like family and treat him as such. I am so thankful to them.
Gaining feedback on the Mental Wellness Service
This year our Mental Wellness Team carried out a survey of individuals who access the service, selecting them at random to provide feedback on the support they receive. The survey was carried out over the phone and participants were given the option to opt in or out. Their level of involvement with the team was varied, with some allocated to a social worker, and others to an intervention worker.
Of the 13 individuals contacted, 11 consented to provide feedback. The comments we received were, overall, positive and complimentary.
He’s helped me to achieve so much. I can do what I want to do, because of him.
Well, she’s really good to be honest. She supports me, and is always there for me to talk to her.
My life has changed. I’m just living a normal life. It’s that good, I got to speak with [my case worker] recently and tell her that I don’t need her anymore. She can help someone else now.
Gaining feedback on our Family Centre interventions
We run an ongoing survey, asking people who have received support from the five Family Centres to share their experiences and views. The questions are linked to our Family Support Standards and we encourage participants to help shape our services. Here is a flavour of the feedback we’ve received this year:
88% agreed that we get in touch with people needing support from us within a week of them first making contact. Feedback suggests that, even if we aren’t able to assign a Family Worker straight away, we keep in touch with the families to check on their welfare, until we link them up with their designated worker.
98% found us to be friendly, honest, respectful and professional:
Easy to talk to and very friendly whilst being 100% professional.
Everyone is so helpful, friendly, and approachable. They all seem like they genuinely care about me and my daughter.
90% of responders felt that their voice is important, they are listened to, and able to look at different areas of family life with their Family Worker:
To be honest, at the start I was lost and didn’t know what to do for the best. But once speaking to my family support worker, her reassurance of what I was actually doing was right, and she is helping me build bridges and get control of my life.
95% agree that, once they feel in control, we help them to move forward in their family life:
I feel we are on the right track, and still have a bit to go, but looking at every positive rather than a negative.
I would not hesitate to contact the service if I ever felt I needed to. It’s very comforting knowing that I can access support again.
It’s clear from the additional comments that the Family Centres continue to offer valuable support to families in Conwy who may be struggling. We’ll continue to ask for feedback from the people who access our services, strive to meet our high standards, and develop services that provide meaningful support.
I’m just thankful in a world where you have to scream to be heard, there are support systems like this, where they will stand and scream with you and effectively get the job done better and quicker. Thank you so much!
Informal group activities
Our Family Centres have been holding informal group activities at each locality, including playgroups, nurturing, coffee and a chat, and baby groups. They’ve asked participants to tell us what they have attended and rate their experiences.
100% of participants so far have enjoyed taking part in the activities, and in the additional comments we received, there has been enthusiastic praise for the event organisers and facilitators.
What can I say? Having the team at the centre are all amazing in every way. The help and support they have provided for myself and my son, as well as the other families is immense, and they do so much for families to take part in and just being able to pick the phone up or drop in for a quick chat is a life saver. Absolutely amazing team.
71% stated that the group has made a huge difference to their family lives, with a further 26% indicating that it has had a positive impact. For some parents, the group activities help them to feel less alone, and others have made friends at the sessions.
It has been so helpful having somewhere to go with other parents who understand your everyday life.
Attendees have given us some ideas for future group activities, which we’ll be considering for next year.
Gaining feedback on our Reablement Service
Our Reablement Service provides short periods of intensive support to people who have been discharged from hospital and need help to regain confidence, skills and independence at home. At the end of each period of reablement, we ask the individuals we’ve supported for their views and experiences. This helps us to ensure that the service is fit for purpose and continues to meet people’s personal outcomes.
Here is a flavour of the results from 2022-23.
- 91% of respondents agreed that they, their friends, family and professionals were involved in agreeing and planning their support
- 99% felt that their expectations of the service were met
- 91% stated that outcomes were agreed at the start of the service
- 92% felt that at the end of the intervention period, they had met their identified outcomes
- 97% of people who had cultural or religious wishes felt that they were taken into account and provided for during the intervention
- 95% thought that the support they had was flexible, e.g. visiting times and duration
- 94% felt that the support received was consistent, i.e. the same team of support workers visited them
- 99% felt that the support enabled them to do as much as they could for themselves
- 100% agreed that our staff were pleasant, kind and courteous
In addition to the positive ratings, we also received lots of encouraging comments about the reablement service:
I couldn’t be happier and more pleased. The staff made a world of difference to me, always helpful and willing.
The support in the morning was helpful, enabling me to get stronger as the weeks went on.
All so pleasant and helpful, especially during the first few days when I needed a lot of assistance.