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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2010): Social care - UK

Building the National Care Service

Department of Health

London: TSO, 2010 (Cm 7834)

The White Paper on social care proposes the staged development of a National Care Service to parallel the NHS. The government promises to push ahead with proposals for free care at home for those with the most severe health needs immediately. There is also a promise to end the 'postcode lottery' whereby local authorities set their own criteria for deciding who qualifies for free care, which can vary wildly. The paper presents plans for paying the personal care costs of people who have been living in residential and nursing homes for over two years, to be paid for out of money raised by freezing the inheritance tax threshold. However, they would still have to cover accommodation costs out of their own resources. There are no details on funding. Instead a Royal Commission would be set up to agree a funding regime for a National Care Service to be launched after 2015.

(For comment see Caring Times, May 2010, p.4)

The care trust conundrum

N. Valios

Community Care, Mar. 11th 2010, p. 26-27

Very few local authorities and primary care trusts have formed care trusts responsible for health and adult care since the model was launched in 2002. This article investigates the reasons for the unpopularity of the care trust model and looks at alternative routes to integration.

No recourse, no support: state policy and practice towards South Asian women facing domestic violence in the UK

S. Anitha

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 40, 2010, p. 462-479

Women who come to the UK to join their husbands or fiancés, who are presently settled in the UK, are subject to a two-year probationary period of residency. If their relationship breaks down during this period, they no longer have the right to remain in the UK, face deportation, and, in the interim, are barred from accessing public funds. However, if they can prove that the marital breakdown was caused by domestic violence, they can apply for indefinite leave to remain under paragraph 289A of the Immigration Rules. Unfortunately it takes the Home Office between seven and 12 months to reach a decision, during which the women have no recourse to public funds. This paper examines the complex legislation that governs the entitlements of women with no recourse to public funds who are facing domestic violence, women's experiences of social service practice, and its impact on the safety and welfare of the women and their children.

Out of the shadows


Community Care, Mar. 11th 2010, p. 16-17

This article presents an overview of what is known and what is not known about Conservative social care policy in the run up to the 2010 general election, covering adults' and children's services and social work reform and training.

(See also Community Care, Mar. 11th 2010, p.22 for an interview with shadow social care minister Tim Loughton)

Proposals for a college of social work

D. Lombard

Community Care, Apr. 1st 2010, p. 4-5

Reports that the development group for the proposed national college of social work has published its plans in a consultation paper. However, the British Association of Social Worker's (BASW) representative on the college development group has stepped down following its decision to bar him from meetings. The friction has arisen from BASW's decision to ballot its members over launching a rival UK college for the profession, due to fears that the college being developed under the Social Work Reform Programme would not be independent enough.

(See also Professional Social Work, Apr. 2010, p. 6-7)

Religion, belief and social work: making a difference

S. Furness and P. Gilligan

Bristol: Policy Press, 2010

This book examines how religion and related beliefs have varied impacts on the needs and perceptions of practitioners, service users, and the support networks available to them. The centrality of religion and associated beliefs in the lives of many is emphasised, as are their potentially liberating (and potentially negative) impacts. The book argues that social workers need to understand these phenomena, so that they can become more confident in challenging discriminatory and oppressive practices.

Turning the tables

S. Gillen and M. Ivory

Professional Social Work, Apr. 2010, p. 18-19

Social workers need proper support from their employers to carry out their duties. This article looks at initiatives in progress in local authorities across the UK to improve the working conditions of social workers, improve access to training, and reduce bureaucracy.

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