Social workers view charities as the first port of call for
grants rather than the last resort, according to a Family Welfare
Association survey published this week.
More social services staff and advice workers are applying
directly to charities on behalf of clients because they believe
statutory grants are a waste of time.
Half of the 26 workers surveyed by the FWA had not sought grants
or loans from the Social Fund, which is supposed to provide crisis
Workers found most Social Fund applications were turned down
even when they were for basic essentials, such as beds or
And only eight staff had used payments under Section 17 of the
Children Act, which enables local authorities to provide funds to
meet immediate hardships of ‘children in need’.
The FWA is calling on charities to ensure their application
procedures make it clear that statutory sources should be looked
into before they are approached. Social services must train staff
to make use of statutory grants.
* Charities And The Welfare State: The Limitations Of Section 17
Payments And The Social Fund, from the Family Welfare Association
on 0171 254 6251.