Finalists announced for 2018 Welsh Accolades recognising excellence across care sector

A project where carers open their homes to vulnerable people, a scheme to cut the risk of sexual exploitation of young people and a community garden initiative bringing together residents with dementia and marginalised groups are among the finalists in the running for the 2018 Welsh Accolades awards.

The biennial awards, which Social Care Wales organise, has this year attracted a record number of entries and recognises excellence in social work, social care, early years and childcare.

The Accolades are open to teams and organisations from the public, voluntary and independent sectors. They recognise initiatives that have had a positive effect on people’s lives, supported the development of staff and encouraged improvement to services.

The winners will be announced in a ceremony at Cardiff City Hall on Thursday, 13 September 2018, and will be selected by a panel of judges made up of Social Care Wales board members and partner organisations from all over Wales.

These include representatives from a range of national bodies such as the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS) Cymru, the British Association of Social Work (BASW), Care Forum Wales, Children in Wales, Health and Care Research Wales, the National Adoption Service, the National Independent Safeguarding Board, the Welsh NHS Confederation, the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, the Welsh Local Government Association and the Workforce, Education and Development Service from NHS Wales.

Arwel Ellis Owen OBE, Chair of the Accolades judging panel, said: “We’re delighted that this year’s record number of entries has resulted in a strong field of finalists that show clearly the amount of outstanding practice that’s taking place in social care and childcare in Wales.

“Next month’s awards ceremony will be a great opportunity to highlight these excellent pieces of work and will provide a springboard for promoting excellent practice and sharing it with the rest of the social care and childcare workforce.

“As a result, we hope the Accolades will play an important role in helping improve services and have a positive impact on those receiving care and support across the country.”

Categories and finalists

Citizen-led services (sponsored by the Co-production Network for Wales)

  • Vale of Glamorgan Council – for its project enhancing the well-being of older people by improving collaboration between social workers, domiciliary care agencies and residents, to make sure residents have control over their care and support.
  • PSS Shared Lives Wales – for a project where vulnerable adults move in with specially-recruited and trained professional carers, who open their homes to them and give them 24/7 support in a family environment.

Effective approaches to safeguarding (sponsored by Blake Morgan)

  • North Wales Safeguarding Board – for its Self-neglect Protocol initiative, developed to prevent the serious injury or even death of people who appear to be self-neglecting, supporting their right to be treated with respect and dignity and “aiding recognition of situations of self-neglect”.
  • Newport Children’s Services and Barnardo’s – for their Integrated Family Support Services project, which is resulting in a significant reduction in the number of children removed from their families and taken into care. The scheme provides intensive, multi-agency support for families “on the brink of care” and helps improve parenting.
  • Pembrokeshire County Council – for its Junior Safe Guardians project, where young people help other young people understand safeguarding issues and keep themselves out of harm. The group has also run two safeguarding conferences to provide training and promote safeguarding to a large group of young people from across Pembrokeshire.

Better outcomes by learning and working together (sponsored by Deloitte)

  • Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services – for its project helping older people live independently in their own homes. It is reducing admissions to hospital and increasing early discharge arrangements through the provision of transport, rapid response adaptations and a caseworker service.
  • Swansea Council/St John’s Day Service – for its Community Garden Initiative, bringing together residents with dementia and marginalised groups, including adults with a learning disability and people from homeless, and drug and alcohol charities. This is allowing “rich and lasting reciprocal relationships” to develop.
  • Conwy County Borough Council – for its project aimed at lowering the risk of sexual exploitation of young people. Its collaborative work with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and North Wales Police has provided bespoke training for staff and set up a monthly multi-agency forum to share information about high-risk perpetrators and vulnerable young people.

Use of data and research to support prevention, early intervention and effectiveness

  • Pembrokeshire County Council – for its project to reduce how long people must wait for care and support. It has changed the culture of two members of staff providing care to older and disabled people in their own homes. An experienced occupational therapist helped build the carers’ confidence in using alternative techniques and equipment with service users, meaning there is now no longer a staff shortage.

Developing a confident and sustainable workforce (sponsored by the GMB union)

  • Right at Home, Cardiff & Newport – for a project providing a comprehensive and innovative career pathway for care workers, giving them “groundbreaking” training opportunities in specialised areas of care, individual rewards and recognition, specialist support with personal and professional development, and quality pastoral care in the community.
  • Bridgend County Borough Council – for an “imaginative” project helping new social workers get their careers off to the best possible start. They have support, teaching and mentoring through a mixture of in-house workshops and training events with outside speakers, as well as individual and group mentoring sessions.

Excellent outcomes for people of all ages by investing in the learning and development of staff (sponsored by The Open University Wales)

  • Care Without Compromise, Neath – for its project supporting people with learning disabilities in “a unique residential setting”. Staff support residents towards rehabilitation and independence, meaning they spend more time in the community and progress to supported living, independent living with domiciliary support, or return to live closer to their families.
  • Flintshire County Council – for a cultural change programme to improve the lives of older people in care homes. Each care home is assigned a monitoring officer who works with staff to embed “person-centred” practice. Staff are also matched to residents based on shared interests, and cultural and language preferences, further improving their sense of well-being.

Innovative and creative solutions – sharing your experiences

  • Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council – for its Stay Well at Home initiative.  The project is helping reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and increase early discharge arrangements through the provision of transport, rapid response adaptations and a caseworker service.
  • Monmouthshire County Council – for its My Mates project, which is transforming the lives of people with a learning disability by helping them form friendships and live “with passion and purpose”. My Mates helps its members take part in a range of social events, forming friendships and possibly close personal relationships, while being offered advice and information in a supportive environment.