Welsh Government legislation, in the form of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (SSWbA) and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (WbFGA), is bringing with it new requirements for local assessments of well-being. Supporting the development of the assessments has meant a very busy few months for many local researchers in Wales.
While assisting in the development of local needs assessment is nothing new for many researchers, the requirements of the new acts do represent a step change. For example, under the WbFGA, Public Services Boards (PSB) in Wales will be expected to capture the strengths and assets of the people and their communities. They will also have to look to the long term and consider what the evidence tells them about how to prevent problems from happening or getting worse.
In addition, the requirement for the new assessments comes at a time of significant resource pressures. Regional and cross-sector collaborative working has therefore been key in providing the necessary support.
Following completion and publication of the assessments, focus will turn to the development of regional and local well-being plans. These will need to be published by March 2018. Researchers will also play a key role in supporting the development of the plans, for example in providing evidence on what works or where interventions might be targeted and have the greatest impact