TORFAEN council has been told to carry out an urgent review of how it supports young disabled people into adulthood following an inspection by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).

The recommendation was one of several listed as a priority for improvement in a CIW report which looked at the experience of disabled children and their families as they came into contact with social services.

Support for young people to remain with their foster carers after their 18th birthday was “significantly under-developed”, the report said.


And inspectors said social workers in the authority’s fostering team and children’s social workers “did not have a consistent understanding of their roles” to provide support for the transition.

Capacity issues in the adult learning disability team and a transition worker vacancy were pointed to as resulting in delays for young people making the transition from children’s to adult services.

“This significantly impacts on young people as they didn’t know about the ongoing support they would receive or their plan for adulthood,” the CIW report says.

“We brought this to the immediate attention of the head of service.

“We reviewed files where delays were apparent and expect senior managers to identify how widespread this is.

“This requires urgent review and resolution for the benefit of disabled young people.”

However the inspection also praised the authority’s partnership working as resulting in “good outcomes” for young people transitioning to adult services.

Inspectors saw “good communication” between social workers and teachers and the occupational therapist, the report said.

The care watchdog also recommended “a significant increase” in the frequency of visits to children in care or who have been in care, to meet legal requirements.

It said half of these children were not receiving visits from their allocated social workers within legal timescales.

“This is inadequate and represents a significant area for improvement,” the report said.

“We cannot be confident care experienced children are receiving sufficient support from their social worker or there is sufficient oversight of the placement and quality of relationship with caregivers.”

More opportunities to provide overnight short breaks for disabled children and their families should also be provided, after parents raised this as “a major concern”, the report said.

The council has not replaced a residential short break provision which stopped several years ago.

The report said parents valued community services providing play and social opportunities, and that most families receiving early help services did not require intervention from social services.

Councillor Fiona Cross, executive member for children, families and communities, said the council welcome the findings of the report.

“We’re pleased that the strengths within our services are identified and we will continue to develop these,” Cllr Cross said.

“Our focus on the areas for improvement will be reflected and monitored in strengthened plans moving forward.”