01/24/2022

Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

New ways of working being considered for social services following Covid lockdown

OPPORTUNITIES and threats to the social service work at Pembrokeshire County Council were laid out for councillors this week.

Members of the social care overview and scrutiny committee heard from director of social services Jonathan Griffiths about what work has been undertaken to recover from Covid-19 at its meeting on June 23.

It includes a number of new ways of working under development as well as where there were threats or challenges to face in the future.

Mr. Griffiths said a range of new initiatives for services were being considered to maintain statutory functions and to protect vulnerable people, including increased use of digital technology.

He said the objectives are “stabilisation, resilience, recovery and re-emergence and flexibility.”

As well as the community hub other opportunities include developing a new range of accommodation facilities for vulnerable people to access – such as new homelessness provision and reablement facilities – and ways of reducing service user waiting times and new models of service delivery.

He added that there were currently seven people waiting for domiciliary care currently which was a much better portion that previously.

However, it is expected that service demand will increase as the county comes out of lockdown with many who found temporary support elsewhere return to council provision.

There is also predicted to be a spike in child protection reporting as children return to school, with demand not having reduced during recent months.

Challenges included the need for face to face visits and communication in many cases, and doing this safely for all involved, as well as reaching “digitally disadvantaged people,” ensuring PPE supplies and the return of redeployed staff to their regular roles.

Head of children’s services Darren Mutter said that relationships with families and young people were key.

He added staff had “broadly continued with all of our core work of children services, particularly child protection and children at risk safeguarding” although it was difficult to maintain the relationships in the same way.

He added that there was only one social worker vacancy at the moment, with three external appointments made recently.

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