Staffordshire Council’s director of social services
promised to be an advocate for emergency social services within the
Robert Lake told delegates at the Emergency Social Services
Association’s second national conference he would call on the
ADSS to appoint him link director with special responsibility for
emergency duty teams..
“We have to look at the workforce issues for EDTs. At the next
executive council meeting [on 30 April], I will raise the issue and
get you a link director,” he said. “I will do what I can to give
emergency duty services a voice within ADSS.”
Round-the-clock social services were an inevitable development,
claimed Lake, and thus had implications for EDTs. “If social care
and community care is to survive, then we’ve got to start
looking to meet people’s needs as and when they want.”
“You and your service are really appreciated by your directors.
Without you we’d be in one hell of fix,” he told delegates.
“You, as an association, have got to get a very strong voice.”
Karen Knight, ESSA chairperson, welcomed the announcement. “We
are the only profession within social care that is meeting like the
ADSS – not only managers, but frontline workers,” she said
after the conference. “Twenty-four hour service provision is not a
new phenomenon for out-of-hours EDT services. We are experts. We
should be involved more in national policy.”
“Social services and the ADSS have to look at extended and
out-of-hours services. We are in a position to share in those
discussions with them,” added ESSA ex-chair Brian Chambers. “We can
no longer be ignored.”
ESSA was set up in 1997 with 11 local authority members. It now
represents 83 local authorities as a professional development
* As part of a major shake-up, the Association of Directors of
Social Services is to advertise next month for a £50,000 a
year business manager who will have a key leadership role in the
Sheridan Systems have agreed to sponsor the business manager
appointment for the first three years.
There are also plans to appoint two or possibly three new policy
officers to form a new ‘rapid response unit’ to react to
consultation documents and new legislation.