In the section of the WCVA website about the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014, three case studies are presented:
This in-depth case study focuses on the development of the Early Help Hub, a multi-agency integrated Families First aligned response to provide support to families where there have been 2 or more Adverse Childhood Experiences and or where there has been an incident of domestic abuse, neglect or general issues, but where the family has not reached the threshold for a statutory intervention or necessitated a safeguarding referral. The Hub, co-locates Social Services, North Wales Police, Health, Youth Justice, Education, the Family Information Services, Early Years Support, Flintshire Customer Connects, Team Around the Family and the third sector, with North Wales Police a key partner. Launched in October 2017 it provides support to avert crisis and family breakdown. A key feature is the role of the Third Sector Co-ordinator (Flintshire Local Voluntary Council, FLVC), who acts as a point of contact; working with the family to look at third sector and community-based solutions to meet their care and support needs. The Hub epitomises one of central features of the Health, Social Care and Well-being Act in terms of prevention and is working towards early intervention referrals, where Children Services, for example, deemed no further action is required.
This second case study focuses on the development of a Community Health and Well-being Coordination Service delivered by Community Connectors across Powys. The service works with people aged 18 and over and their families and carers to access local community-based support and activities. The key aim is to support people to remain independent by acting early and preventing escalation and crisis. The service developed from a third sector brokerage model (2 brokers) and was located within Powys County Council’s Single Point of Access, now called Powys People Direct, but ‘quickly, as referrals were received, we’re at capacity….over run with demand’. Subsequently, the co-ordination service emerged as a preferable model with Community Connectors acting with a wider remit working across multiple settings. Currently, there are 10 Community Connectors working across the county and a co-ordinator managing the service.
The Better Lives project has been and continues to be influential in using and promoting a co-productive approach across Gwent. Co-production has led to more innovative practice in the commissioning of learning disability support. Crucially, People First group members, who were part of the team, felt that they were on equal terms with professionals as they were paid for the work they undertook. Group decision-making as to how to spend the money they had earnt, for the benefit of the People First movement across the county, was important to them. They felt more valued and appreciated and trusted the professional members of the team who were accessible and reliable. Significantly, the Innovation and Development Manager was the ‘trusted maverick’, who was steeped in the principles of co-production and person-centred practice. He was not only trusted by members of People First, but also by other colleagues who gave him the freedom to help facilitate the development of Better Lives.
Finally, the co-produced research design and interviewing processes helped ‘people to dream and once you start realising that people need to be helped to dream’ their ideas about what really mattered to them came through about what they wanted for the future and helped towards agreeing which pieces of work to take forward within the Better Lives project. Safe Places, as a concept, has now spread to other vulnerable members of the community through use of the card or key fob in many towns in the region.