You might have heard that we’re looking to improve our Day and Employment Disability Services .

We’ve already carried out some consultations, and some news from these has already been in in the press.

So you might be wondering why any changes are necessary, and what it means for people involved in those services and for anyone who might need them in the future.

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On Tuesday, October 9, our Executive Board will look at how we think we can make changes  to improve services and make them fit for the future.

Why do things need to change?

The way that Social Services needs to work with people is changing. The law has changed, which means the focus is on now improving individuals’ well-being, building on people’s strengths and building strong and supportive communities.

Changes will be needed in the way Social Services offer support to ensure services are more person-centered and flexible.

Social Services will work with people to help promote their independence within their own homes and communities wherever possible, ensuring people are able to fully use their abilities and capabilities. We will need to focus on preventing the need for services and developing more support in the community, by the community.

The aim with Day and Work Opportunities Services has always been to help individuals build their skills and confidence, then move on to other opportunities once they feel confident enough.

Due to the need to focus on the day to day running of the business projects some of the support people need has been difficult to put in place. As a result, some people have been using these services for a number of years, and it has been difficult to offer other people the more personalised services they want.

Social Services has to look at how it can meet the needs of individuals it supports now but also has to look at those people who will need services in the future. The numbers of people we will be providing support for is increasing and this is going to continue.

Put simply – if we don’t modernise the Day and Work Opportunities services, there’s a risk that individuals will have their support provided in a way that does not help them to do what they want to do and achieve their full potential and others may not be able to be provided with support.

What are these services?

The Disability Service is a lifelong service for both children and adults with a range of physical and learning disabilities, run by our Adult Social Care Department.

The help people need can take many forms, from supported living tenancies with providers commissioned by us; Direct Payments to users so they can buy their own support, or community resources working in partnership with us.

Some people access the Day and Work Opportunities Services – a range of different business projects which give people the chance for workplace training and employment. They have been successful in helping some people to find a sense of independence and satisfaction.

The service is split across a number of different projects, including:

  • Le Cafe – a cafe at the Cunliffe Resource Centre, Rhosddu.
  • Coverall – a laundry service in Rhosymedre
  • PAT – a portable appliance testing service for buisinesses
  • The cafe service at Alyn Waters Country Park

How will things change?

The businesses at Le Cafe, Coverall and PAT will close and an alternative organisation will be found to run the cafe service at Alyn Waters Country Park.

We have worked alongside individuals, carers, families and other stakeholders to co-produce the design for the café service at Alyn Waters Café and how it will meet the needs of people it will support going forward.

A co production/ person-centered approach is very important, involving people with care and support needs and their carers when we design any new provision. It will be important to have this approach as we look at how social services will need to make changes going forward.

How will you help people through?

We will work with individuals, their families and carers to manage changes.

Support workers will work closely with individuals, their families and where required advocates so that they can identify their strengths and abilities and identify alternative ways to meet their outcomes. People will be supported through any changes and after changes have taken place offering reassurance of continuity.

“We will do whatever we can to help people”

Cllr Joan Lowe, Lead Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “We know that a great number of people rely on these services, and we want to do whatever we can to minimise disruption to their day-to-day lives.

“While we feel there is a need for these changes, and while the proposals have already received a warm welcome among some service users, others have expressed concerns and we want to work with them wherever we can to ensure any possible disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.

“This isn’t about reorganisation for reorganisations’s sake – as well as changes in legislation brought about Social Services and Well-Being Act, and the Well-Being of Future Generations Act, there’s strong evidence that as in all other areas of Adult Social Care, changing demographics are going to mean that the service faces even more demand in future, and we have to make sure those services are ready not just to meet those demands, but to make sure that any new service offers a person-centric and flexible approach, capable of dealing with the needs of vulnerable, in-need individuals.”

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