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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 1999): Social Care - UK - Social Services Departments

FUTURE IMPERFECT

L. Eaton
Community Care, no. 1229, 2-8 July 1998, p. 20-21

Speculates on the future structure of the Social Services Inspectorate (SSI). The forthcoming White Paper looks set to hive off the local authority inspection process to an independent body. The new inspection teams are likely to be based in nine regional units, and it is questionable whether government inspectors will be attached to those units. The central SSI may be left to play more of an advisory role to ministers. With the emergence of joint SSI/Audit Commission reviews, there has been a move towards performance-related indicators of achievement which may undermine professionalism.

HOW LONG HAVE WE GOT?

L. Eaton
Community Care, no. 1225, 4-10 June, 1998, p. 18-19

Predicts that local authority Social Services Departments will cease to be providers of services and move to a purchasing role. They will integrate more with community health care providers, offering a "one-stop shop" for all user needs. New structures will be more corporate, with social services grouped together with other social policy issues such as school exclusion.

PLEASE, SIR, CAN WE HAVE SOME MORE?

J. Hirst
Community Care, no. 1229, 2-8 July 1998, p. 8-9

Reports that the Association of Directors of Social Services has joined forces with the Local Government Association to bid for nearly £750 million extra funding from central government for 1999-2000, and about £600 million per year thereafter. Pressure on social services budgets is rising relentlessly and many councils are making deep cuts. However, Social Services Departments are being heavily criticised for mismanagement of existing resources, and pumping money into residual services for marginalised social groups is not regarded as a vote-winner by politicians.

WHY WE NEED FAMILY DEPARTMENTS

B. Holman
Community Care, no. 1230, 9-15 July 1998, p. 13

Proposes reform of Social Services Departments by splitting them into family and adult sections. Family sections would promote the well-being of children within their families and communities through a family orientation, a community location and a facility approach (day care, family centres and youth clubs).

A WORLD WITHOUT SSDs

H. Ross
Caring Times, June 1998, p. 10

Argues that Social Services Departments are grossly inefficient in administering their budgets while persistently and impertinently interfering in the running of private sector residential and nursing homes.

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