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Overview of Directors’ annual reports – Wales Social Services Annual reports 2020-2021

Published: March 2022


Section 144A of the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 places a duty on every local authority to prepare and publish an annual report setting out how they have exercised their social services functions during the year. These reports are often referred to as the ‘Directors reports’.

Social Care Wales commissioned the Social Care Institute for Excellence to carry out an independent overview of the 22 reports for the financial year 2020-21.

The output is a resource for Directors of Social Services and their teams to have greater understanding of the different initiatives put in place across local authorities (LAs) in Wales.

What is included in the report?

This report is an overview of the key initiatives put in place in social services by 21 of the 22 LAs in Wales. We reviewed the Directors’ reports for 2020-21, with the following exceptions:

  • The Ceredigion report wasn’t available at the time of this project and therefore information on Ceredigion has not been included.
  • The Bridgend report covers two years of activity and it’s not clear what happened in 2020-21. For this reason, we’ve included only the most significant initiatives.
  • The Powys report is focused on the critical activities included in its business continuity plan from March 2020. The plan identified activities the local authority would stop doing to make way for these critical activities.

The review highlights the key initiatives local authorities put in place in 2020-21, as detailed in their reports. It excludes business as usual and existing initiatives.

The fact that one LA has nothing under one or more of the themes does not mean the LA did not have any activity in that area.

The worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has affected the way we work since late February 2020. LAs had to adapt to lockdowns and its implications, distribute personal protective equipment, develop contingency plans, close and re-open services and buildings, read and summarise guidelines and support the continuous implementation of new guidance. Most of the contingency plans are not included in this summary, unless they have been identified as useful and does continue after the pandemic.

How the report is structured:

The themes identified in this report are based on:

  • the content of the 21 Social Services Directors’ annual reports
  • the themes in the population needs assessment
  • the themes in the Social Services and Well-being Act Wales 2014.