Adult social care

Better Lives programme


In Barnsley, we should all have the best possible chance of enjoying life in good physical and mental health. Our adult social care services play such a vital role in ensuring local people experience high-quality care and support when they need it.

As we look forward, we want to bring together all the great work happening in adult social care in Barnsley. This is why we're developing our Better Lives programme. This will see our services working together to deliver excellence in adult social care for years to come.

Better Lives will focus on wellbeing, independence and community resilience.  Supporting people to live independently in their own home for as long as possible. Also ensuring those in need of our support have more say over the care they receive.

We’re excited about our Better Lives programme and believe it will positively impact local people’s lives by:

  • promoting wellbeing and personal and community resilience
  • maximising recovery and promoting independence so people can live independently in their own communities for as long as possible
  • improving the quality of life for people with care and support needs
  • providing choice and control for people who have care and support needs

Our Better Lives programme will also support our Healthy Barnsley ambitions. We’re excited to share what we’re doing to make sure you get the care and support you need. Check this page for regular updates from our services and providers.

We all want to live in a place we call home with the people and things that we love.  Being in communities where we look out for one another, doing the things that matter to us – that’s the social care future we seek.

January 2022: Introduction to Better Lives by Wendy Lowder

In Barnsley, there's lots of great work happening in adult social care. For example, we've developed our Market Position Statement to set out how we'll develop our care market in the coming years.

Our Better Lives programme will bring all of this great work together. It will help us to deliver excellence in adult social care for years to come.

We spoke to Wendy Lowder, our Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Communities, to hear more about our plans for this exciting programme of work.  Also what you can expect from adult social care in the future.

February 2022: Adult social care over the winter months - Linda Middlewood and Julie Chapman

Back in December we put in place measures to prepare us for the challenging winter months ahead.  Making sure we were ready for the impact of the Omicron variant and the continued pressures felt by our health and social care services.

Building on the great work we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, our teams have been agile and used strong partnership working to manage these challenges.

Across adult social care, teams and services have worked tirelessly to make sure everyone in our borough gets the care and support they need. Here's a snapshot of what they’ve achieved over the past few months:

  • Our teams have worked together to keep services running despite some staff shortages, supporting care homes and people continuing to live at home.
  • We’ve offered temporary solutions for those waiting on homecare, aided by the support of informal carers, community services and our partners.
  • We’ve continued supporting people with their equipment and adaptation needs to continue living independently at home.

You may have noticed some longer waiting times, and we thank you for your patience and flexibility during this difficult time.

It’s been really heart-warming to see communities and families pulling together to support one another. A timely reminder of the kind nature of Barnsley folk.

We’re extremely proud of our carers and everyone working across adult social care in Barnsley for all their hard work. Making sure the right care and support is available, not just during the winter months but throughout the pandemic.

They've continued to show incredible dedication, skills and tenacity to support those who need our help in Barnsley. We’re all in this together!

March 2022: Bringing reablement to life - our reablement team

As part of the social care future we seek, we all want to live in a place we call home. We want to be with the people and things we love, doing the things that matter to us.

We’re really proud of our reablement team. They are supporting people to start doing the things they love again and continue living in their own homes.

For people who don’t know, we work with people who have been unwell or in hospital and need some extra help to keep living independently with confidence. The support we offer builds on someone’s strengths and is tailored to meet their personal needs.

Our team sets goals based on where someone wants to be. Making sure they offer the right care and support to help people get back to their everyday lives as much as possible.

You may have seen one of our staff telling Barnsley Spotlight why she is proud to care. We want to thank our team for everything they do to help people get back to doing the things that matter most to them.

We’ve been working with a local animation company to help tell the story of our reablement service. We aim to show how our teams work together and how we can support you.

For these animations, we spoke to our friendly teams to hear how they help people recover and regain their independence. We also heard the story of how reablement has helped improve the life of someone in Barnsley, which you can watch below.

From adaptations at home to helping people get out and about with confidence.  We’re excited for people to learn more about how reablement can help them and their loved ones.

For more details, visit our reablement webpage – and keep an eye out for the animations on Barnsley Council’s social media channels.

May 2022: Our adult social care webpages have a new look - Karen Houghton

Our priority in adult social care is to help people access all the care and support they need, at the right time and in the right place. As part of the social care future we seek, we want you to tell us what’s important to you.  That way we can work with you to find local groups and services that will help you achieve your goals.

To help bring this vision to life, I’m delighted to see our new adult social care webpages launched.  Helping people find the right support for them in their local area.

Over the past few months, we’ve been reviewing our website to make sure you can find all the advice you need when you need it. With our new look webpages, we hope you will find the support you’re looking for to achieve your personal goals.

I’m incredibly proud of the range of support and advice we have been able to highlight through our new look front door. If you’re looking to increase your independence and continue living safely in your own home, we have lots of great advice. You can find out about getting help early through Live Well Barnsley.

If you can’t find what you need in your community, you can read more about how we can help with your care needs on reablement. We also have dedicated tiles detailing the support and advice we can offer.   If you need help with your mental health, if you’re a carer in our borough or if you have disabilities or sensory impairments.

Finally, we believe that everyone in Barnsley has the right to feel safe.  This is why you can get advice on what to do if you’re worried about someone directly from our front page.

Have a look through our new webpages today and find out how we can help you!

Explore our adult social care webpage and find out how we can help you!

June 2022: hosting our first virtual recruitment event for Barnsley's care jobs - George Angus

Last year, we launched Proud to Care. This is our campaign to help tell the story of working in care in our borough and promote rewarding career options in the area.

With such varied roles available in adult social care, you’ll be amazed at the options Barnsley has to offer. 

Last month, we came together with our friends at the NHS to host our first ever virtual recruitment fair for Barnsley’s health and care jobs. This unique day-long event was fully interactive, giving local people the chance to have their questions answered by our borough’s health and care workers.

It was great to see companies taking the chance to give people practical advice to get a job in the area. Also to hear our borough’s care workers telling their stories.

We’re proud that these rewarding roles offer lots of options for progressing your career.  This is something we feel we were able to show with the variety of jobs people could easily explore from the comfort of their homes.

As a first for our health and care jobs, we’re committed to learning and improving from this experience to help people find a perfect role for them. We’re currently planning our next virtual recruitment fair for later this year – keep an eye on our channels for more information.

Want to learn more about working in care? Visit our Proud to Care webpage today and have a look at care roles currently available in Barnsley. Whether you’ve got years of experience or are new to the idea of working in adult social care, there’s something for everyone!

July 2022: South Yorkshire Integrated Care System - Wendy Lowder

Earlier this summer, our new South Yorkshire Integrated Care System (ICS) launched in the region, marking the end of the long-running NHS Barnsley CCG.

In Barnsley, we believe everyone should have the best possible chance of enjoying life in good physical and mental health. ICSs, which have been established up and down the country, will bring together our health and social care services. This is so people get the right care and support they need.

The ICS is made up of:

  • GP practises.
  • Hospitals.
  • Health and social care services.
  • Our local councils.
  • The NHS.

We're excited for what the ICS will mean for health and social care in our borough.

These new systems will bring together all the great work already happening in South Yorkshire to help people stay well while tackling health differences. 

We spoke to Wendy Lowder, our Executive Director for Place Health and Adult Social Care. She spoke about her role in the South Yorkshire ICS and what it will mean for our communities.

September 2022: telling the story of working in care in Barnsley - Josh Cawood

We’re incredibly proud of our brilliant care workers in Barnsley, who truly change the lives of the people they care for and their families. Over the summer, we’ve been working with a local video production company to find out why our caring workforce is proud to care.

India, who supports people at Ward Green Lodge, has always had a caring nature behind her, even as a kid. She told us that, while the days can be long, going home knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life makes her role so rewarding.

Joy, a team leader at Crossroads Caring for Carers, supports people in their own homes. She told us that caring isn’t like work, it’s like being around family. For her, working in care is all about uplifting people and putting a smile on their faces.

Jonathan and Julian, who run Greeenworks, showed us a different side to working in care. They provide work for adults with learning disabilities from their three acre farm.  They told us they’re proud of the stories the people they support can tell.

You can hear their full stories in our new series of #ProudToCareBarnsley stories.

If you’re looking for a new challenge, love helping others and want to make a difference in someone’s life, we’d love for you to join our social care family.

Barnsley is a fantastic place to start and grow a career in care, whether you’re working for us or one of our amazing partners. Start a rewarding role in care by visiting our Proud to Care webpage.

November 2022: We’ve been celebrating all the great work of our Adult Social Care Social Work teams – Amanda Bannister

This week, we’ve been celebrating our Adult Social Care colleagues, thanking them for everything they do in our communities and for our residents.

At our Social Work Teams Celebration Event, we brought together staff from different teams and services. We celebrated their successes and achievements over the past few years.

It was really important that we took this time to say thank you for all the amazing work our teams do every day and have done throughout the pandemic.

COVID-19 created lots of new challenges for Adult Social Care. Our teams stepped up to continue helping people across Barnsley live happy, healthy lives.

During this time, our teams continued to learn and earn new qualifications, achieving some fantastic things along the way. From South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership (STYP) award nominees to staff completing their apprenticeships, there was a lot to celebrate!

Just how many achievements we celebrated at this month’s event is a reflection of how dedicated our teams truly are to changing lives in our borough.

They play a vital role in helping us build the social care future we seek and driving forward our Better Lives ambitions. They are making sure people can enjoy high-quality care when they need it and continue doing the things they love.

You can see just some of the great people we recognised at the event in this video showing the highlights from the adult social care celebration event

We also spoke to Wendy Lowder, our Executive Director for Place Health and Adult Social Care, about the great work of our teams over the past year.

December 2022: Local Accounts tells you what we’ve achieved and where we’re going  – Catherine Sellars

We’ve just launched our adult social care Local Account. This shows what our services have achieved over the past year and where we plan to improve our support further.

There’s been a lot to celebrate in adult social care over the past year, helping people live happy, healthy lives. Our teams have adopted exciting new approaches. They are helping local people access high-quality care and support when they need it in their communities.

We’re committed to reviewing and improving the support we offer. We welcome your honest feedback through our adult social care enquiry form to help shape our plans and services. Your feedback sees Barnsley topping the charts nationally for satisfaction with our care and support.

This is an incredible achievement and a testament to all the great work happening in Adult Social Care. We were also delighted to lead the way nationally in helping our communities feel safe and giving people control over their daily lives.

We’ve improved on previous years in all these areas, but our hard work doesn’t stop there.

We’re excited about what we have planned for 2023. This includes strengthening partnerships in Barnsley through the South Yorkshire Integrated Care System (ICS) and continuing to progress our Better Lives programme.

Hear from Wendy Lowder, our Executive Director for Place Health and Adult Social Care. She talks about what we’ve achieved over the past year and introduces our adult social care Local Account.

As part of our commitment to reviewing and improving our support, we’d love to hear your feedback on our Local Account. If you have any comments or suggestions, please share them with us in our Local Account feedback survey.

January 2023: There’s no such thing as can’t do thanks to Shared Lives – our Shared Lives team

Our Shared Lives scheme offers highly flexible, family-based support to help local people continue living well as part of their community.

We carefully select carers who open up their homes to someone who needs extra support, helping them develop skills and confidence in a stable, supportive environment.

Our Shared Lives carers and their families create welcoming spaces that truly change lives for Barnsley people, such as Jodie.

Jodie came to Shared Lives in 2015 while she was still studying, needing support to be part of her community due to her learning disabilities. She struggled with change, but carers worked with her to get involved with activities and spend time with others.

In September 2019, Jodie moved in with her Shared Lives carers Tracey and Phil, something she wanted so she could be with her friends, who they helped to look after.

Jodie still spends a lot of time with her family, who have seen her grow in confidence thanks to the support offered by Shared Lives. With Tracey and Phil’s help, Jodie continued living well during Covid-19, which saw her locked down for long periods due to her conditions.

She stayed active riding her bike, enjoyed the outdoors while walking the dogs and explored her love of baking, making some fantastic creations.

Over the past few years, Tracey and Phil have helped Jodie grow in confidence and self-esteem. She’s now willing to try new things and believes there’s no such thing as can’t do.

Jodie is a perfect advert for Shared Lives carers truly changing lives in Barnsley.

With Tracey and Phil’s help, she is now working with our Supported Employment team, who are getting her all the help she needs to succeed in the workplace.

Away from their support, she will soon be starting a job in the town centre, something which would not have been possible when she first joined Shared Lives.

Jodie’s family feel Tracey and Phil have made a really positive impact in their lives – ‘they’ve become extended family, couldn’t do without them’.

This is just one of the great stories we have from our Shared Lives carers. Learn more about the scheme, including how you can become a carer or access our support, by visiting our Shared Lives webpage.

Shared Lives has helped Jodie achieve things she would not have thought possible before

June 2023: Celebrating what we’ve achieved so far with our Better Lives programme – Wendy Lowder

We all want to live in the place we call home with the people we love, doing the things that matter most to us. That’s the social care future we seek.

Our Better Lives programme is helping to bring this future to life in Barnsley. We're refocusing our vision for Adult Social Care to place the people we support at the heart of everything we do.

Over the past two years, our Adult Social Care teams have achieved some great things to continue improving the way we support you, including:

  • Making sure that your first contact with us helps you to stay independent and well. This is thanks to our Front Door team, getting support to you sooner.
  • Working hard to support people in their own homes with our ‘Home First’ approach. This helps us to reduce admissions to residential care homes by 22%.
  • Launching our Reablement Community Pathway. The pathway helps more people regain their independence and confidence, reducing their need for longer-term care.
  • Leading South Yorkshire’s local supported employment scheme, helping people with learning disabilities or autism to get started in the workplace.

We’re really excited about what our teams are working on. We want to take you on this journey with us. Over the summer, you’ll be hearing more from the staff key to delivering these great achievements for you, our communities.

Keep an eye on our Better Lives blog to learn more about:

  • What we’ve achieved so far.
  • What we’re currently working on.
  • How you'll achieve more with our support.

July 2023: Our Shared Lives carers help Joe achieve his driving dreams – Lee Hardman 

Our Shared Lives carers and their families reflect the great community spirit we have in Barnsley.

They open up their homes to someone who needs a little extra support. They create welcoming spaces where someone can develop their skills and grow in confidence. They truly change the lives of Barnsley people like Joe.

Joe has always loved cars and dreamt of driving one since he was ten years old.

He was told he would never be able to drive because of his autism. He was determined however to prove that a disability doesn’t have to hold you back.

When Joe was 17, he applied for his provisional licence and started to have lessons. He wanted to achieve his dream. Sadly, he lacked the confidence at the time to continue the lessons and get behind the wheel.

A few years went by and with the help of our Shared Lives team, who supported him with travel training and job coaching, Joe’s confidence grew and grew. He felt able to pursue his driving dream again and decided to restart his lessons.

When his Assistant Shared Lives Officer recently went to visit him, Joe was waiting at the door with some very exciting news. He’d not only passed his theory test on his first try but he’d also just passed his driving test first time!

Joe’s absolutely over the moon as are all of us. I want to extend a massive congratulations to him for achieving his driving dream!

This is just one of the great stories we have from our Shared Lives carers. You can learn more about the support we offer by visiting our Shared Lives webpage.

Our Shared Lives carers help Joe achieve his driving dreams

November 2023: Giving national leaders plenty of reason to celebrate – Amanda Bannister

Earlier this month, we hosted our second-annual Social Work Teams celebration event. This brought colleagues across Adult Social Care together to celebrate everything they’ve achieved this year.

It was a brilliant afternoon and a great way to thank our teams for everything they do in our communities. Our thank you card summed it up perfectly – ‘Every day, you help people get the best care when they need it and continue doing the things that matter most to them’.

The event was also a chance to recognise some of the remarkable achievements and successes we’ve enjoyed in Adult Social Care over the past year. From colleagues earning new qualifications to bringing more awards success back to Barnsley. There was a lot to celebrate, and we had some very special guests joining in the festivities.

We were joined by Sarah Norman, our Chief Executive, Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults at the Department of Health and Social Care, and Maris Stratulis, National Director for the British Association of Social Workers.

It was great to show them the great things we’ve achieved and where we’re heading in Adult Social Care.  We also got to show our new Adult Social Care and Wellbeing Practice Framework.

Designed to help everyone in our teams be the best they can be, I’m really excited about what our Practice Framework will mean for the way we work. It will help us create more chances for everyone to continue learning and embed a strengths-based approach to our work to help us achieve the best outcomes for you, our residents.


Social Care Future - five key changes