The More Than Words strategy continues to be a priority area for the council and we are committed to concluding the actions in years one and two of the plan and preparing for year three.
CCBC’s Corporate Research and Information Unit issued a research bulletin entitled ‘The Welsh Language in Conwy County Borough’. This information is presented by electoral division, community council area, age and geographical spread. The authority also asked employees ‘what is your preferred language?’ A bilingual questionnaire has been developed to send to all service providers in the area to ascertain the language profile of their staff.
ICT Systems Manager, part of a working group established by the Director of Social Services, identified the following key groups of officers that provide ICT support to Social Services:
- IT Systems Team 2
- IT Technical Support Team 2
- E-Government (Web Team, LLPG, GIS and EDM)
Line managers of the above teams and himself have viewed the More Than Just Words DVD.
A new version of PARIS (V5) the Management Information System is currently being tested (beta stage) and the ‘output to service users and carers can be in Welsh or English’.
Bilingual Customer Care Team (i.e. First point of contact service) ask key questions of the caller including language preference. This information is recorded on the PARIS system (Management Information Service) and used by managers when allocating practitioners who are able to communicate in the individual’s preferred language.
Guidance re what constitutes an ‘Active Offer’ service has been developed.
220 lanyards were circulated to all Welsh speaking staff. However it was commented that it would be useful if there were similar lanyards for Learners and we are purchasing the learner lanyards for staff.
We have analysed the demographics of Conwy to identify levels of Welsh speaking within the population and measured against levels of Welsh speaking within the social care workforce as a whole. The purpose is to identify if the levels of the Welsh speaking within the workforce corresponds to levels within population of Conwy. It is already known that within the private sector levels of Welsh speaking are lower than the population.
The Welsh language skills of a team are considered whenever a post is advertised – this assessment is then discussed with the authority’s Welsh Language Officer. We have discussed the requirements at the annual forum with our domiciliary care and residential/nursing home providers.
The MTW strategy is included as part of corporate induction programme to new staff.
We ensure that training complies with the Care Council’s Social Care Induction Framework:
Learning Objective 1: principles and values of care
- Understanding the importance of Welsh language and culture in supporting individuals.
Learning objective 4: listen and communicate effectively.
- Understanding the need to meet the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of a) individuals, b) families, c) carers and d) others
- Our youth council has developed a DVD called ‘don’t be shy – siarad Cymraeg’ which is about promoting the language amongst young people.
What difference has it made?
Generally there is more of an awareness of the need to ensure a robust response to offering the choice or an ‘active offer’ in welsh to our service users. We know there is work to do in the care sector and we aim to support the providers of residential and domiciliary care with training and encouraging the workforce to be more confident in the use of the language.
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