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22 April 2013

Welsh Government's wellbeing statement announced

The Deputy Minister for Social Services in Wales, Gwenda Thomas recently announced her Well-being statement for people who need care and support and carers who need support. This has been announced to tie in with the publication of the Welsh Government’s Strategy for improvement and draft three year plan for social services in addition to a response on the initial consultation of the social services outcomes framework.

Housing should be considered a key determinant of an individual’s well-being. We welcome the emphasis of an individual’s well-being as driving the understanding of how we comprehend the impact of social service in Wales. In addition we welcome the move from Welsh Government to indicate a clearer definition of well-being via the statement; methods of measurement will clearly be the next important development. Community Housing Cymru Group was disappointed that housing does not feature strongly in the statement – particularly given the indication in the three year development plan for social service that… “Our objective is to focus activity in social services on achieving well-being of people”. Housing impacts upon people’s health, well-being and independence which is particularly pertinent as we age, as many older people spend disproportionately large periods of their life in their homes. The link between the understanding of well-being as detailed by the statement and developing social services is clear; we fear that housing may be underemphasised if not included in the detail of the framework.

Community Housing Cymru Group welcomes the indication from Welsh Government that the outcomes framework is being collaboratively constructed on a cross-departmental basis, covering key policy areas including housing, health and social care. The Community Housing Cymru Group called for a greater emphasis on housing within the framework in recognition of the central role of housing associations and Care & Repair play in contributing to the outcomes of social services in Wales. We look forward to working closely with members and the Welsh Government through further consultation in shaping the final detail of the outcomes framework.