Monmouthshire County Council has won a prestigious social care accolade. The biennial awards, which are led by the Care Council for Wales, are presented to teams, partnerships and organisations who have improved social care services by investing in the learning and development of people. Monmouthshire County Council’s award was for its work to improve support and guidance for young people with a disability to move into adulthood. The ‘Your Life Your Choices’ project was named joint winner in the Learning Together category in the Social Care Accolades, which took place at Cardiff City Hall on 23rd June 2011.
The project aims to help young people, aged 14-25, have more choice and control in planning for their future and provide the necessary support to make this possible. The initiative was kick-started by a group of parent carers of young people with a disability who wanted to improve the process of planning the transition of their children to adulthood. It developed into a pilot project involving 36 young people and their families. The main aims were to make transition planning more person-centred, provide better information and develop the roles of staff that would support the process. All the young people in the pilot group now have transition plans in place and feel their situations have improved.
The Transition Project was led and hosted by Monmouthshire CC, but an important aspect of the project was the inter-authority partnership with Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Gwent NHS Healthcare Trust (now Aneurin Bevan Health Board), and Careers Wales. It was also one of five pilot projects funded by the Welsh Assembly Government to develop transition keyworking.
In a letter to the staff behind the project, Paul Matthews, Monmouthshire County Council’s Chief Executive, said:
“I find it difficult to put into words how delighted I am for your achievements which were recognised by your peers last week with a Social Services Accolade. The programme that you have all put together is an outstanding example of modern public service. You identified an issue and have come up with a fantastic service delivery model designed to succeed for young people in need of support as they move into the next stage of their lives. This is exactly the sort of thinking that I hope will characterise Monmouthshire more and more as we move forward.”
“So well done, you are a credit to yourselves and to this organisation. I am immensely proud of you.”
Project Manager, Mike Logan, added:
‘This award acknowledges the hard work and commitment of our project team and all the young people, family members and professionals who have been involved in the project so far. The involvement of young people and families has shown us how multi-agency transition planning and coordination can be improved. The challenge now is to embed these improvements across education, health and social services so that all young people with disabilities and complex needs get the right information and support as they move into adulthood.’