Huw Irranca-Davies, Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care
Further to my statement in Plenary on 22 May 2018, I am pleased to share with you links to the consultation packages on regulating fostering, adult placement and – for the first time – children’s statutory advocacy services.
These consultations are part of phase 3 of implementing the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016, which is due to come into effect in April 2019.
The fostering services consultation seeks views on:
- requirements to be placed upon service providers and responsible individuals of independent fostering agencies, under the 2016 Act
- requirements to be placed upon local authority fostering services, under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
- a revised process for approving foster parents (the Independent Review Mechanism).
In addition to the consultation document, also enclosed are a set of draft Regulations; draft statutory guidance, under s.29 of the 2016 Act (in respect of the independent providers) and a draft code of practice, under s.145 of the 2014 Act (in respect of local authority services). The draft guidance and code contain further information on how providers may comply with the service requirements, set out in the Regulations.
The adult placement services consultation seeks views on:
- requirements to be placed upon service providers and responsible individuals of independent and local authority adult placement schemes, under the 2016 Act
- the principle of extending these placement schemes to include 16 and 17 year olds
- draft statutory guidance to accompany the Regulations.
The advocacy services consultation seeks views on new Regulations which place requirements on service providers and responsible individuals of children’s statutory advocacy services. These are advocacy services arranged by local authorities, under their 2014 Act duties, to assist children, looked after children and certain types of care leavers in making representations about their needs for care and support. Also enclosed for consideration is draft statutory guidance, to complement the Regulations.
The overall approach to developing the requirements for phase 3 services has been to draw from and, wherever appropriate, equate these with the standards approved by this Assembly and put in place at phase 2 of implementation (April 2018), for services such as care homes and domiciliary support.
Ensuring consistency in the requirements placed on providers and responsible individuals of all regulated services is one of my main policy objectives in implementing the Act. However, I also recognise that each service has its own characteristics. Therefore, where appropriate the draft requirements are tailored to ensure the best fit with how phase 3 services are delivered in practice, without compromising the overall expectations.
As with phase 2, the draft Regulations have been scoped and developed with the assistance and advice of stakeholder technical groups, to whom I am very grateful. Their contributions have helped to ensure that the draft requirements are suitable for their particular service. I welcome further views on this.
The consultations will close on Thursday 16 August 2018.