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Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill passed, 18/3/2014 [W]

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill completed its passage through the National Assembly for Wales on Tuesday 18 March 2014.  The Bill introduces a number of changes intended to transform the way social services are delivered through an approach that is focused on achieving the outcomes necessary to promote a person’s well-being.

A last minute amendment to the Bill ensured that Part 1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was placed on the of the Bill.  Catriona Williams OBE, Chief Executive of Children in Wales welcomed this stating:

“We very much welcome the inclusion of Part 1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child onto the face of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill.   By supporting this at the final stage of the Bill’s passage through the Assembly, Gwenda Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Social Services and Members of the National Assembly from all parties who gave their support have ensured that Wales remains at the forefront of promoting children’s rights, especially for those who are most vulnerable.

Within the UK, Wales has been pioneering in enshrining the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Welsh Law and by including it onto the face of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill, as well as cross referencing to the existing Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011, there can be no doubt that the rights of children and young people in Wales must be central to future policy and service developments.

The approach of the Bill is based on the rights and well-being of individuals which is a move away from the traditional model of welfare.

We are also pleased that the need to have a requirement for preventive services to be provided by local authorities has been made statutory.

Finally, we have made comments on details at various stages of the Bill and have welcomed the concept of well-being. It is now time for Welsh Government as a whole to engage with its implementation to improve the well-being of all children in Wales and not just those with whom social services are involved.”