For the last few years, the AWF has been delivering workshops across Wales informing carers of what rights they have under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act and how to exercise those rights. Many of the carers who attended these events fed back the need for targeted support work to be delivered around improving the opportunities of engagement for carers at both a local level and regional level.
Some carers were aware that the SSWBA introduced Regional Partnership Boards (RPBs) and that a carer representative sits on it but most were not. Equally, some carers felt that the current reps would understandably need some additional support to ensure they could truly represent the views of the wider carer communities within their region. We have been awarded funding by Welsh Government to help deliver collaborative regional carer focused conversations across Wales. The aim of these conversations is to both assist in further generating regional engagement and to review the current opportunities for carers voices to be heard.
In the spring, we were due to bring together carer representatives, wider carer groups in the region and key leads to a big event in each RPB area. These events were aimed to bring carers and commissioners together in a format that will further enhance the current on-going conversation structures, supporting the development of the RPBS, helping to ensure the carer voice is at the heart.
We wanted to ensure that the carer representatives feel less isolated in their role, become a more informed representative and to take forward people’s concerns more confidently, to enable plans and solutions to be co-produced.
Unfortunately, due to current COVID-19 precautions, we have decided to postpone our planned Carer engagement events until further notice. As Carers are a vulnerable group, we feel it would be putting them at an unnecessary risk.
We have been exploring an alternative way in gathering carer stories and experiences to help supplement the work we have gathered so far. A survey will be circulated soon so please keep an eye out for more information…