Social services are at a ‘crossroads’

The next 12 months will see the end of social services departments
in their current form, the president of the Association of
Directors of Social Services claimed last week.

Andrew Cozens said he was in no doubt that social care was “at a
crossroads” and that the children’s green paper and forthcoming
children’s bill would confirm the end of social services
departments as they are currently known.

Adult social care services could be placed within the NHS and be
commissioned by primary care trusts, he suggested. Alternatively,
more responsibility for social care could be passed to local
communities, with councils, the NHS and other partners being given
a wider duty to promote individuals’ well being.

Either way, new partnerships would be required, he told delegates
at the Social Care Institute for Excellence’s annual

Cozens added that, in order for partnerships to be successful,
agreed objectives that made sense for all parties involved were
required. He advised against centrally-prescribed models of

Social care needed to be “prepared to let go of the structures,
organisations, and comfort zones of the way things have been done
in the past,” he said, calling on them to learn from the experience
of users and carers.

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