Social care law in Wales

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

Changes in the law brought in by this Act (from 6 April 2016) are now referred to in the relevant parts of the website. The Act is supplemented by new regulations and new Codes of Practice (guidance). There are links to these on the relevant pages. In some cases, we have left links to the older legislation and guidance as this may still be required if you are looking for the law that was in place before April 2016.

Detailed information about all aspects of the Act can be found here on the Social Care Wales site.

This is a very complex piece of legislation. The most important changes in the law relating to children are:

Part III of the Children Act 1989 was repealed in Wales on 6 April. It remains in force in England. Part III contains the legisation about children in need and about looked-after children.

section 17 – the local authority’s powers and duties regarding children in need – has been replaced by a new system of assessing and meeting needs under Parts 3 and 4 of the 2014 Act. Children and adults (and carers of disabled children and adults) who need care and support will be assessed according to Part 3. If the eligibility criteria are met, the person should be provided with a service under Part 4.

sections 20 – 30 – the local authority’s powers and duties regarding looked-after children – have been replaced by Part 6 of the 2014 Act. This table by AFA Cymru relates the new to the old law.

Children who were looked after on the 6th April under section 20, or under a court order, became looked after under Part 6 of the new Act on that date.