(L-R) Terry Taylor dean of faculty at Bridgend College; Caroline Greenhall, Welsh medium childhood health and social care coordinator; Chief Inspector Imelda Richardson; section leader Claire Leaky.
Her first stop was Welsh Women’s Aid in Wrexham on April 14, where she witnessed first-hand the care and support available for women who are or have experienced abuse and sexual violence.
In 2014-15, 12,274 adults and 4,349 children were referred to domestic abuse services provided by Welsh Women’s Aid’s members.
More than 47,000 incidents of domestic abuse were reported to the police in Wales during this period, and 124,000 victims reported a sexual offence.
The Chief Inspector was joined by the chair of our National Advisory Board, Professor Judith Hall.
Together they met support staff from Welsh Government’s ‘Live Fear Free’ helpline, delivered by Welsh Women’s Aid, which received 28,526 calls and emails in 2014-15.
The Chief Inspector said:
Visiting this service with Professor Hall gave me an opportunity to see the types of support available for women and families in North East Wales, as well as the challenges.
We saw first-hand the range of professional expertise and work being done to support women to move towards independence and recovery.
As we know, trauma can have a life-long affect on the families of those affected, but it is refuge and recovery programmes like this one that make the difference in achieving positive and lifelong outcomes for women and children.
While no family wants to find themselves in a situation where they have to use a refuge, it is essential that this provision is available to those who need it most. Families need protection and these services are vital.
Later that month, on April 26, the Chief Inspector met and spoke to health and social care students at Bridgend College.
This was an opportunity for the students to hear more about the work of the Inspectorate as well as Imelda’s background in social work.
Around 100 people attended the talk including representatives and students from the college’s Health and Social Care, Social Work, and Access to Health courses.
Typical subjects in the course curriculum include caring for children and young people, dementia, creative and leisure activities for adults in health and social care, and the role of the carer at meal times.
The Chief Inspector said:
I was delighted to be able to talk to a cross-section of students from different courses at the college and see the work the students are doing to prepare for a career in social care.
As a former social worker myself I know how challenging and rewarding a career it is.
It is vital that those entering the field of health or social care and aware of the personal characteristics as well as the professional skills required for these kinds of roles.
The message I was keen to get across is that these students have an opportunity to help improve the quality of social care for the children, adults and elderly people they will work with.