Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act came into force on 6 April 2016.

The Act provides the legal framework for improving the well-being of people who need care and support, and carers who need support, and for transforming social services in Wales.


The fundamental principles of the Act are:

Voice and control – putting the individual and their needs, at the center of their care, and giving them a voice in, and control over reaching the outcomes that help them achieve well-being.

Prevention and early intervention – increasing preventative services within the community to minimise the escalation of critical need.

Well-being – supporting people to achieve their own well-being and measuring the success of care and support.

Co-production – encouraging individuals to become more involved in the design and delivery of services.


Reference: In the APA referencing system, Acts of Parliament do not need including in the reference list. On the first mention of the Act a full citation is given in the text; in this case (Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014) or for a little more political correctness in this instance, if you are writing in Welsh (Deddf Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Llesiant (Cymru) 2014). Applies to APA 6th.


editors comments

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 ( the SSWA 2014) received Royal Assent on 1 May 2014.; The majority of its provisions came into force on 6 April 2016. However, some provisions of the SSWA 2014 were commenced earlier:

  • section 170 - joint arrangements for the provision of adoption services and Part 10 (sections 179 and 180) were commenced on 1 November 2014;
  • sections 132 and 133 – National Independent Safeguarding Board and Regulations about the National Board were commenced on 21 October 2015

The purpose of this Act is to specify the core legislative framework for social services and social care in Wales. It gives effect to the policy stated in the White Paper Sustainable Social Services for Wales: A Framework for Action, which set out the Welsh Government’s response to the challenges that face social services as a result of increased and changing societal expectations, demographic change and a difficult resource environment.

  • The law about looked-after children in Wales was previously contained in sections 20-30 of the Children Act 1989. These sections no longer apply in Wales, they have been replaced by Part 6 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) 2014 Act. Just like the Children Act 1989, the term ‘looked after’ applies to children accommodated by the local authority and to children in care under care orders.
  • The provisions for children in need that are contained in section 17 of the Children Act 1989 no longer apply in Wales. These sections have been replaced by a system of assessment and planning under Parts 3 and 4 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. The category or definition of ‘children in need’ no longer exists in law in Wales.

From an academic perspective, the attached 'explanatory memorandum' written in 2013, is very useful as is the attached article by Doughty (2017) in respect of looked after children and children in need and the Welsh definitions/categorisation of care leavers.


Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 - latest version

Links we like:  Children's social care law in Wales  -   Law Wales  -

Crown copyright material is reproduced here under the Open Government Licence for public sector information.


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