Swansea University hosts a cross-sector workshop - A year on from the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act

On 5th April 2017, Swansea University was pleased to host a cross-sector workshop, sponsored by the UK Social Policy Association to discuss the impact of the new Social Services and Well-being Act that came into force in Wales in 2016.

social policy workshops 








In recent years Wales has developed some highly distinctive, potentially transformative legislation in the areas of well-being and social service provision.  The aim of the workshop was to bring together policy-level research insights with the lived experience of social services among participants – and to explore the relation between theory and practice, ideals and reality. 

The workshop, kindly sponsored by the UK Social Policy Association was attended by more than 50 policy makers, staff of public and third sector organizations and service-users, alongside academics with a research interest in the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014.

There were formal presentations from; Welsh Government representatives Stephen McMillan (Head of Regional Engagement and Workforce Readiness), Dan Venables (Head of Research and Development for Health and Social Care), Dr Dave Sayers and Dr Gideon Calder. 

The workshop used various innovative methods including ‘rapid networking’ among participants, group (rather than individual) questions in response to plenary talks, and live presentations of group discussions using the interactive tool Padlet, as an alternative to flipcharts. 

 Quote from Gideon Calder, co-host

‘This workshop was a kind of experiment.  It brought together different points of view, in a different kind of context, to discuss pressing issues of shared concern.  Feedback from participants and speakers suggests that it provided a uniquely valuable opportunity for deliberation and critical exchange. 

We’re delighted that it worked so well.  Wales is developing some really important, potentially ground-breaking policy in this area.  But, as it unfolds, the policy brings questions and challenges and prompts further debates.  So it’s vital, and highly valuable, to bring together those delivering policy with those directly affected by it, in this way. 

We’re looking to hold future events along similar lines, and to develop and expand the network established through the workshop.’