Guides and Information

QS 6: Working with and supporting people to achieve greater economic well-being, have a social life and live in suitable accommodation that meets their needs

What did we plan to do last year?

Foster Carer Building Grants Project

We said we would implement a project to look at developing a policy that will allow the Local Authority to provide grants to foster carers for extensions and home improvements to provide enhanced capacity for placements or allow care for specific young people, avoiding the need for more expensive, specialist external placements.

How far did we succeed and what difference did we make?

Foster Carers 

A successful pilot build was completed which has seen a young person being able to remain long term with their foster carers, which would not have been possible without the build. This pilot will be evaluated and a proposal considered for wider adoption of the scheme as an offer to foster carers that will help to enhance our in-house foster care provision. It is hoped that the full scheme can be introduced in early part of 2023. 

Building a Diverse and Vibrant Market

Our strategy has been to develop a diverse market to provide our service users with various options for care.  We believe that supporting the development of small businesses to deliver care will provide more choice and reduce waiting times for service users. We have recently evaluated this programme of work and identified that we have supported 30 micro- enterprises and 8 social enterprises. We have developed a code of practice, a directory of micros/ social enterprises created and a communication network. Next steps include building on the success in Pembrokeshire to upscale across the West Wales Region with an associated regional funding bid being pulled together. Regional Integrated Fund (RIF) proposal has been developed. The proposal will build on the developments and learning to date in Pembrokeshire.

With regard to Shared Lives we have developed a project plan and key work areas, which grow the Shared Lives opportunities within Pembrokeshire. The project governance is in place and has a number of work streams which includes: media campaign and marketing, review of application processes to support people to become shared lives carers, target setting/ performance, improving quality measures and diversifying the offer. Good progress made to date. Focus has been on marketing, streamlining processes and recruitment of shared lives carers. This continues to be a priority for 2022/23

A review of the fees paid to shared lives carers has concluded and a proposal is being put forward for consideration. If supported this can be expected to improve retention and recruitment.

Unpaid Carers

Regional work programmes and priorities for unpaid carers have been fed into the RIF grant.  Our priority areas for development are:

  • Identifying and valuing unpaid carers
  • Providing information, advice and assistance
  • Supporting life alongside caring
  • Supporting unpaid carers in education and the workplace

The development of a virtual platform for carers has commenced and the Carers ID has been launched for young carers. The development of more creative short break/ respite options for carers will be a key priority for 2022/23.

Supported Employment

Our Supported Employment Programme including Norman Industries and our employability projects (Workways and Experience 4 Industries) support people with disabilities and long term health conditions to access paid work and work based day opportunities. People supported by the programme have a wide range of disabilities including learning disability, neuro-diverse conditions, physical and sensory impairment. 

From employing 25 people with disability in 2017 Pembrokeshire County Council now employs around 70 people with disability in its supported employment programme. The programme provides employment, training and day opportunities in admin, catering, retail, manufacturing, wood production, digital media and craft. 

The supported employment project as developed as a result of the Learning Disability Strategy in which people with learning disability and autism told us that they wanted more opportunities for paid employment. During 2021 we have expanded opportunities to for people with disability to access supported employment and work based day opportunities

  • May 2021 - We took over the running of Edies café at Scolton Manor. This gives progression opportunities for people who have previously learned catering skills in the training café to develop their customer service skills in a busy café environment.  We also held our first Repair Café.  Working with mainly older volunteers, the repair café is held monthly at Scolton Manor and alongside the Anchorage SAC in Pembroke.
  • November 2021 - Throughout the summer we refurbished Unit 5 in the Riverside shopping centre using the supported teams from Norman Industries wherever possible. We opened @ No5 in November which is the home from Caffi Cyfle, the Library of Things and offices for the employability projects. The new community space provides a meeting place for a wide range of groups including people with autism, older people and dementia groups. The menu and space has been design specifically to meet everyone needs.  

The programme is a partnership between the local authority, not just social care but our regeneration, education and leisure departments, our local health board and key third sector partners. The programme is a key component of our equality action plan, driving an increase in disability employment across the local authority. 

Pembrokeshire is leading the way in this work across Wales. It is still the only local authority to be a Disability Confident Leader and has the only active supported employment programme. The programme has been shortlisted for 3 awards this year: nationally as part of the LGC Awards and the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative and across Wales as part of the Accolades. We were really pleased to win the Accolades which recognises our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  

Going forward the plan is to continue to expand our support employment programme so that more people have the opportunity to have paid work if they want it or to have a work based day opportunity. In particular we are looking at how young adults with complex needs can be supported in a continuing their training and entering the work place.

Learning Disability Strategy

The Circle of Support diagram below shows the key focus of work for the Learning Disability Strategy during 2020/21. 

This year has been challenging to complete actions because of the Covid pandemic but I’ve listed some of our key achievements below: 

  • The partnership board is chaired by Adam Billington alongside vice chair Kath Brookes.  The whole group has really adapted to online meetings and the return to hybrid working. The Partnership Board is now considering all the actions that have been completed to produce a strategy report and have started to think about what needs to be in the new strategy in 2022. 
  • The LD Champions have continued to work throughout the year from home.
    • Led by James Dash - LD Champion – Communication, the Dream Team speaks up for people with a learning disability. It is a group of people with a learning disability from Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. Throughout the last year the Dream Team has continued to meet digitally and has been helping people with Learning Disability to overcome problems that they have faced as a result of limitations on services
    • Rachel Bailey - LD Champion – Employment has continued to develop resources and provide training to support employers to employ more people with disability with a particular focus on the social model of disability and Access to Work
    • Rhys Eynon - LD Champion – Community has continued to work with PAVS to develop resources and connections in the third sector.
    • Lucy Hinksman – LD Champion – Easy Read has been helping us to develop a range of easy read documents. This has included PCC’s easy read version of its Equalities Strategy and the Wellbeing Plan
    • James Tyler – LD Champion – transport has continued to look at how the pandemic has impacted people’s use of public transport. He created some really informative documents to help people understand how things are now different.
    • Sian Andrews and Dan Martin – Website Development have continued to develop the resources on the Access Pembrokeshire website.  

The action plan for the LD Charter is now being reviewed. We have made lots of progress and completed a number of the recommendations. In light of what has happened over the last 18 months something recommendations are out of date and will need to be revised. The LD Strategy is due to be revised next year.

Our LD Champions have spoken to our regulators in CIW in order to request that they a produce an easy read version of their performance reviewing completed in April 2022.

Welsh Language Standards

The Welsh Language Standards apply to all areas of a Council’s work and mean that residents across Wales can expect the same approach to applying the Welsh Language in services across the country, to ensure that the language is treated the same as the English and that all Councils offer people the opportunity to receive their services from us, as well as from those funded by us in Welsh.

In the past twelve months, services have been embedding new processes to meet the requirements. There is now a directory of Welsh speaking staff which is kept up to date through the HR system.

All published material is available to residents in both Welsh and English, e.g. the Council’s Website, Committee papers, Job Advertisements and Social Media.

We continue to develop our active offer of contact through Welsh, promote and raise awareness of the language amongst staff and provide opportunities for employees to develop their Welsh language skills. We ensure all people making a referral for adult services are asked what their preferred language is.  Sometimes we do struggle to identify welsh speaking social work capacity and this was noted in the recent CIW inspection.

The Minister for Health and Social Services had established a task & finish group to develop an ambitious new 5 year plan for More than just words to address the key issues that emerged as part of the independent evaluation of the More than just words framework. The task & finish group considered patients’ experience, evidence from Welsh Government, civil servants, regulators, professional bodies, stakeholders from health and social care and beyond, as well as from the education and training sectors. As a result the new More than just words plan 2022-27 is due to be published at the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod in Tregaron in August 2022.

What are our priorities for next year and why?

  • We will review the newly launched More than Just Words action plan and seek to implement a range of improvements to enhance Welsh Language provision across the services.
  • We will continue to implement and develop our Learning Disability Strategy and Supported Employment Service.
  • We will fully evaluate our foster carer building grants initiative.
  • We will continue to work towards developing a vibrant and diverse market to meet growing demand and provide choice for our service users and their families.
ID: 9561, revised 16/03/2023