PSL's Self-Assessment Framework Toolkit

PSL's Self-Assessment Framework Toolkit

Categories: News , Practice Solutions

Our associate, Steve Milsom, explains how Practice Solutions can help local authorities assess their progress in complying with the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act using our Self-Assessment Framework Toolkit.

How did this come about?

This is one of the ideas that came out of a discussion amongst PSL Directors and Associates about how we could adjust our service offer to support local authorities and their partners in Wales to manage the transition to the new legal framework for social services that is set out in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (the Act) and the Regulation and Inspection (Wales) Act 2016. We recognised that there were some significant opportunities and challenges for local authorities to provide improved person-centred, outcome-focussed support to vulnerable people and that we could help them by providing independent “critical-friend” advice and capacity.

What is the assessment framework?

The assessment toolkit covers all of the overarching corporate issues that support the implementation of the legislation such as accountability, financial management, workforce, etc. The toolkit then covers each section of the Act and related guidance and code of practice requirements that impinge on local authorities. It facilitates at a detailed level an assessment of progress made to date and the risks that position raises. Actions that are needed are then recorded alongside a “traffic light” risk assessment. A summary action sheet brings all of the future and remedial actions together to inform the project management regime.

How will PSL support its use?

There are a number of ways in which the toolkit can be utilised. The diagram below has the main options but an approach that suits the needs and requirements of the individual local authority would be agreed.

Option

Access to the tool

Facilitated sessions with local authority’s SMT at the beginning and end of the process

Internal team populate the assessment tool

Support from the PSL evaluation team on 3 sections of the Act

Support from the PSL evaluation team on all or most sections of the Act

Challenge report from PSL on analysis of the information gathered

Digital stories produced by PSL to support report findings

Level 1

X

 

X

 

 

X X

Level 2

X

X

X

 

 

X X

Level 3

 X

 X

 

 

X

Level 4

 X

 X

 

 

How is the tool going to work?

The assessment framework can be used on a comprehensive or section by section basis. The PSL team would work with local senior managers in making a judgement as to the compliance with the Act requirements in the areas that have been agreed at the outset. Importantly, it would facilitate discussion and agreement about how the risks would be addressed and what actions are required by when to get things back on track. Gaps or improvements in existing systems or policies would be readily identified. A formal challenge report for the local authority would be completed at the end of each assessment process. The toolkit is very much complementary to, and will support the use of, the Social Services Improvement Agency’s interactive resource on the implementation of the Act (http://www.ssiacymru.org.uk/home.php?page_id=8914).

How will this help local authorities?

It will give local authorities access to high-level support from the PSL team in working alongside key managers and staff. It will help to build capacity in evaluating progress in the implementation of the Act through external reference and challenge. It will also help local authorities to understand how new models of service, citizen engagement and performance management can be used to best effect. Finally, it will give confidence that the hard work undertaken across the social care sector is making a difference to peoples’ lives through the production of digital video case studies.

Why should local authorities use PSL’s assessment framework?

It will provide external challenge and evaluation on the progress being made in implementing the Act, the key risks being faced, and the remedial and other actions needed to ensure compliance with the new laws. This will assist partnership working and enable local authorities to develop a positive narrative about change in social services with their residents as well as scrutineers.

It will put local authorities on “the front foot” to assess their own progress and further actions and change required to achieve compliance before the Welsh Government and CSSIW undertake their own evaluations from 2017 onwards.

What are the next steps?

If local authorities are interested, they should contact PSL to arrange an initial non-chargeable consultation to discuss the benefits of using this assessment framework and how support might be framed to meet the local

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