Agenda item

Social Services Annual Report 2022/23


The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing submitted a report, outlining the Director of Social Services Annual report 2022/23, which is a statutory requirement.


She advised that the report reflected on 2022/23, highlighting key achievements and challenges whilst also outlining the Directorate’s key priorities for 2023/24.


In line with the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, performance is reported against six quality standards highlighting key actions completed in the year (paragraph 3.4 of the report referred); how Social Services have performed against these standards during this period and the key actions for 2023/24 to enable us to achieve our priorities.


The analysis that was derived from the Annual Report, drew upon on progress against the Social Services and Wellbeing Business Plan, performance data for each service area in Adult Social Care and Children’s Social Care, the views of Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) as the regulatory and inspection body for social services and social care in Wales and feedback from people who have experienced social services and well-being and their carers.


Whilst the report highlighted the key priorities for 2023/24 the Director’s introduction of the annual report noted the key thematic areas for improvement for 2023/24, for example:


           Hearing and acting on the voice of children and families, adults and  carers;

           Securing a stable, well-supported, motivated and permanent workforce;

           Improving practice;

           Maximising the impact of our services and interventions;

           Ensuring a more effective response to children and families, adult and carers, with complex needs;

           Seamlessly working with partners; and

           Implementing better intelligence and information systems


The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing confirmed that engagement and consultation were a key aspect of the report and how we undertake these activities, as well as an overview of feedback being included therein.


The report also highlighted how feedback linked to some of the key actions.


A summary of key regulatory activity undertaken in the year was also included in the report and this focussed on inspections of regulated services; the Performance Evaluation Inspection of Children’s Social Care in May 2022 (further shared with Overview and Scrutiny) and the November 2023 Improvement Check of Children’s Social Care. The summary further included key findings and how we will respond, to given situations that arise throughout the year.


The Directorate is also in the process of refreshing the strategic plan for children and families in Bridgend. The refreshed plan will focus on developing a sustainability plan outlining a service, workforce and financial strategy on how the Council works with children and families at risk in Bridgend. The plan will be considered by Cabinet in Autumn 2023, confirmed the Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing.


The report also outlined how the service effectively continues to work with partner agencies and third sector organisations, that were key in terms of assisting the service as supporting bodies.


Finally, the report highlighted our financial resources noting the key challenges and pressures that the Directorate and Council face in order to deliver statutory services, as it was required to do.


The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing shared with Council a power point presentation, in order to pick out some of the key findings of the Social Services Annual Report, particularly outlining areas where the Directorate had worked well, including key areas of improvement, as well as identifying areas where some further progress could be made.


The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services and Health commended the report and accompanying presentation, including the video footage therein that also included a Recruitment campaign exercise.


She thanked the Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing and her Heads of Service/Senior management team for their excellent work and commitment to what was a crucially important service. The Leader echoed this, as well as adding the importance of our partners who added their support to the success of the service.


A Member noted from the report that the permanent establishment in Children’s Social Care was 122.91 FTE and already working at 29% above level in order to meet its statutory requirements. With this in mind, she asked how performance was monitored to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the workforce.


The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing, advised that Children’s Services was one of the most monitored public service areas within any area of local government, as there were many areas both locally and nationally where performance was very closely monitored.


Internally there were performance indicators monitored through the Council’s Corporate Performance Framework. Some of the data in terms of performance were reflected in the report and accompanying presentation, she added.


Particular emphasis was given to the timeliness of decision making, visits to children, the various stages of the child protection processes, all of which related to the overall activity of the Social Services workforce.


Each Social Worker had a caseload and the size and complexity of each of these was closely monitored through, for example, Management Team meetings, in order to ensure they were managed and processed effectively.


The Corporate Director – Social Services and Wellbeing added, that quarterly performance reviews were also in place to closely look at how caseloads were progressing.


As Children’s Social Services was such a highly regulated area, external monitoring and sharing of information was also conducted with inspectorates.


She concluded, by confirming to Council that the Independent Improvement Board had also commended BCBC on its performance of producing quantitative data though there was still some further progress to make on qualitative data.


RESOLVED:                                 That Council endorsed the 2022-23 Director of Social Services Annual Report.

Supporting documents: