The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act (2014). Steps towards understanding well-being Dr. Nicholas Bowler.

We are serious about delivering the Act so you need to understand the Act and embody it in practice...this is true of you, your colleagues, professionally qualified staff, service managers and others involved in social care...

You need to know about the Act...understand how the 'well-being approach' differs from care and know how to practice in a manner consistent with well-being.

You need to understand the well-being concept and principles...Particularly the active nature of service user involvement...and barriers to well-being.

You need to know the 8 general determinants of well-being and the additional two specific to adults and children...

The Social Services and Well-being Act (2014) is 'live' from April 2016, you need to understand it, and its impact upon your practice.
You need to understand how support is organised collaboratively with service users and based upon their well-being goals.

your practice will need to be skilled in overcoming barriers to both well-being and active participation within support planning and enactment...creativity and problem-solving will be an essential practice component...

There are 5 principles (Care Council for Wales) which embody the Act's aim.

The 5 principles are:

  • Voice and control – putting an individual and their needs at the centre of their care and support, with voice and control over the outcomes that will help them achieve well-being;
  • Prevention and early intervention – being able to access advice and support at an early stage, to maintain a good quality of life, and reduce or delay the need for long term care and support;
  • Well-being – supporting individuals to achieve well-being in every part of their lives;
  • Co-production – involving people in the design and delivery of support and services, and recognising the knowledge and expertise they can bring;
  • Multi agency – strong partnership working between all agencies and organisations is essential to improve the well-being of individuals in need of care and support, and carers in need of support.
Services will need to evidence 'new' well-being practice consistent with the Act.

The Act marks a shift towards new models of practice which are highly individualised, self-directed, person-centred and varied from existing service norms...

Well-being Practice Principles.

You need to understand the determinants and principles of well-being and enact the critical-difference required of well-being practice.

The Act states that there are 8 elements which define a person’s well-being:

a) Physical and Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

b) Protection from Abuse and Neglect

c) Education, Training and Recreation

d) Domestic, Family and Personal Relationships

e) Contribution to Society

f) Securing Rights and Entitlements

g) Social and Economic Wellbeing

h) Suitability of Accommodation

The Act states that there are two further considerations for Adults:

a) Control over day to day life

b) Participation in work.

And two further considerations for Children:

a) Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Social and Behavioural Development;

b) “Welfare” - as the word is interpreted for the purposes of the Children Act 1989.

The Act has specific measures which need to be understood, directing how people can be protected, enabled and supported.

You need to understand the critical-difference required of their practice under the Act.

The 5 principles and 10 Determinants embody the critical difference in practice required by the Act.

"Well-being cannot exist just in your own head. Well-being is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships and accomplishment." Martin Seligman

© Dr Nicholas Bowler. March, 2017.


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