Prevention is at the heart of the Welsh Government’s programme of change for social services. There is a need to focus on prevention and early intervention in order to make social services sustainable into the future. It is vital that care and support services do not wait to respond until people reach a crisis point.
Section 15 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 requires local authorities to provide or arrange for the provision of a range and level of preventative services which they consider will achieve the following purposes:
- Contributing towards preventing or delaying the development of people’s needs for care and support.
- Reducing the needs for care and support of people who have such needs.
- Promoting the upbringing of children by their families, where that is consistent with the well-being of children.
- Minimising the effect on disabled people of their disabilities.
- Contributing towards preventing people from suffering abuse or neglect.
- Reducing the need for: i). proceedings for care or supervision orders under the Children Act 1989 ii). criminal proceedings against children iii). any family or other proceedings in relation to children which might lead to them being placed in local authority care, or iv). proceedings under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court in relation to children.
- Encouraging children not to commit criminal offences.
- Avoiding the need for children to be placed in secure accommodation.
- Enabling people to live their lives as independently as possible.
To support the effectiveness of the preventative services being delivered, people will need to get access to information about these services, and how to access them, through an information, advice and assistance service. Any signposting to a person with care and support needs should be in a manner accessible to that person’s needs.
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