Poor Law mentality must end

Councils should dump “Poor Law attitudes and approaches” which
restrict care to people with the most severe needs, the new
president of the Association of Directors of Social Services told
the conference.

Making his inaugural speech, Andrew Cozens said social services
should look at – and have a legal duty to promote – the social,
economic and environmental well-being of their communities.

“The long shadow of the Poor Law has remained over social care to
its detriment,” he said. “That long shadow brings with it the
armoury of measures we are still familiar with: rationing,
eligibility criteria and means-testing to sort out the deserving
from the undeserving.”

Cozens urged the government not to pursue a one-size-fits-all
policy for social care. Instead it should work with local
government on “a new, radical and comprehensive vision for social
services in the mainstream in local government and in local

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