As the Local Government Association (LGA) today warns Council Tax rises in 2017/18 will not bring in enough money to prevent further extensive cuts to local services next year, the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is endorsing the LGA´s call for government to provide new money for social care.
The LGA said it believes 147 out of 151 authorities responsible for social care will raise £540m more over the next financial year through a local precept, but on council tax this will be taken by the extra cost of paying the national living wage to care workers. A £2.6 billion adult social care funding shortfall is predicted by 2020.
Commenting on today´s statement from the LGA, BASW Chief Executive Dr Ruth Allen (pictured) said: "Social work is ideally placed to find solutions to the crisis and we are working with partners such as the LGA and ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Services) to build a long term `social movement for social care´. However, in the short term, the LGA is absolutely right to call on Government to provide new money for social care.
"Many adult social care services have continued to innovate as budgets have fallen, including supporting people to use their own capacities, social supports and assets more effectively and ensuring reablement services reduce unnecessary long term dependency on services.
"But there is huge evidence from social workers, people with lived experience, researchers and other professionals that social care resourcing cannot meet material needs of all those requiring and indeed, having entitlement to, support. This leads to suffering, worsening inequalities in health and wellbeing, and greater demand on much more expensive health and high care services. It also can stop people with social care needs getting or keeping work. A fundamental shift in political and public thinking is needed, with acknowledgement that proper investment in good social care is central to a good and fair society.”
BASW England Manager Maris Stratulis added: “Social care matters; it changes lives and supports people to maintain their independence and to live in their own homes and communities. It is about valuing the worth and contribution of everyone, including the elderly, disabled people, carers (young and old) and all users of services. BASW England supports the LGA call to government to provide new money for social care as the impact of local government funding cuts cannot be sustained and ultimately the people who will suffer the most will be those in need of social care support.”