Welsh care sector celebrated as 2018 Accolades winners announced at Cardiff ceremony

An initiative to reduce the risk of childhood sexual exploitation, a culture-change programme to improve the lives of older people in care homes and a project which had led to a significant reduction in the number of children being taken into care are among the winners of the 2018 Accolades.

The biennial Accolades, organised by Social Care Wales with support from partners and sponsors, recognise, celebrate and share excellent practice in social work, social care, early years and childcare.

A total of seven Accolades were presented at a prestigious awards ceremony at Cardiff City Hall. They were awarded to organisations and teams from across Wales whose projects had made a positive difference to the lives of the people they supported and had focused on the learning and development of their staff and improving their services.

Huw Irranca-Davies, Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care, said: “The National Social Care Accolades is a celebration of the fantastic work done by so many people within the sector. It’s an opportunity to share examples of excellent practice, which can in turn inspire others to strive for improvement and can attract and motivate others to work within this vital area.

“It was encouraging to see so many excellent projects among the finalists. Many congratulations to all involved in the Accolades, you should all be very proud of your achievements.”

Arwel Ellis Owen OBE (pictured), Chair of the Accolades judging panel and of Social Care Wales, said: “We’re delighted that this year’s record number of entries 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.

“Once again, we have been delighted by not only the number, but the standard of entries. It just shows how many great examples of excellent care we have in Wales. It also highlights the strong focus on making a positive difference to the lives of the people receiving care and support, and on providing learning and development opportunities for staff.”

“We will now focus on trying to share the excellent practice displayed by the winners and other finalists, so that the awards can play an important practical role in helping improve services and have a positive impact on those receiving care and support across the country,” added Arwel.

Out of 15 finalists, the winners of the 2018 Accolades are:

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)


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. 


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”.

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)


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.


St John’s Day Service/Swansea Council – 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.

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.

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 GMB)


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.  


Right at Home, Cardiff & Newport – for a project providing a comprehensive and innovative career pathway for care workers, giving them “ground-breaking” 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.

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


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. 


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.

Innovative and creative solutions – sharing your experiences


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.


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.

Picture (c) Social Care Wales / Twitter.