National overview report of assurance checks

Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) today published an overview of Children and Adult Social Services in Wales. The report describes the overwhelming pressures local authorities have faced in providing care and support during the pandemic, and the future challenges and difficulties they now face. The inspectorate spoke to 800 people who work in, work with or experience social care services, and reviewed performance across 19  Welsh local authorities.

The report shows collaboration and partnership working during the pandemic delivered positive results for people accessing support from Welsh local authorities. CIW also found people were well supported during the pandemic to maintain and promote their wellbeing. 

There is strong evidence that all social services in Wales are committed to reducing the number of children looked after and achieve the best outcomes for children.   

However the report also highlights several challenges facing social services in Wales.  Amongst them is the unprecedented demand for social care, alongside an increase in safeguarding referrals. This has resulted in additional pressure for services which has led to delayed assessments and increased waiting lists.

Workforce recruitment and retention in social care is at crisis point as COVID-19 has created a perfect storm, drastically altering the stability of the social care workforce.

The report finds there is limited domiciliary support capacity which is leading to increased pressure on unpaid carers, people being placed on long waiting lists, and some people going without care or possibly staying in hospital longer.

The reports highlights for children and young people with the most complex emotional and behavioural problems, it can be difficult to access appropriate residential care and foster care placements. As a result children and young people are often being placed far from home and sometimes outside of Wales.

Commenting on the publication of the report, Gillian Baranski, Chief Inspector of Care Inspectorate Wales was keen to stress:


‘Local authorities are under immense pressure as they try to balance unprecedented recruitment challenges in the social care sector whilst demand for care is at an all-time high. Despite this we heard many stories of how positive outcomes were achieved for people when there was an effective multi-agency approach. We were humbled by stories of individual staff commitment to deliver support in the face of overwhelming difficulties”

“Responding to a challenge on this scale has taken its toll on the sector but the exceptional dedication of those who work in social care demands our deepest admiration and gratitude.”

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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