SOCIAL care in Wales is still facing challenges, according to the findings of a Welsh Government report published today.

Today, Thursday, the Welsh Government has published the final report from a four-year evaluation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

The findings recognise the "commitment, dedication, and adaptability of the care and support workforce", but also provides evidence of "challenges that remain in delivering the aspirations of the Act".

The Impact (IMPlementation of the ACT) study, led by the Welsh Institute of Health and Social Care (WIHSC) based at University of South Wales (USW), involved academics across four universities in Wales.

The partnership included representatives from USW, Cardiff Metropolitan, Swansea and Bangor Universities, and PRIME Centre Wales.

The programme of work constituted 11 individual studies. In all, 450 study participants from across Wales provided detailed and comprehensive accounts of their experiences under the Act, from a range of perspectives.

Professor Mark Llewellyn, director of WIHSC, co-led the study with Professor Fiona Verity, school of health and social care, Swansea University.

He said: “We conclude that the Act, and the principles underpinning it, provides a well-supported framework for transforming and delivering social services.

“There is clear and compelling evidence of the incredible amounts of hard work, passion, commitment, adaptiveness, and goodwill from all stakeholders given the scale and scope of the challenges facing both the care workforce and unpaid carers, but there is also evidence of problems remaining within the system.

“We must, however, consider the unprecedented changes that we have all faced since the Act was implemented.

"Forces around the global public health pandemic, the workforce crisis, and the cost-of-living crisis, combined with longer-term challenges around demography and austerity, have all had a direct impact on people’s well-being outcomes.”

Professor Verity said: "The question now really concerns the extent to which the sector, as a whole, believes that in addressing these questions together it may be possible to restate a common purpose.”

Deputy minister for social services, Julie Morgan MS, said: “There is still work which needs to be done in realising the Act.

"Our next step will be to look at how we can renew and re-focus our collective endeavours.”