The forthcoming green paper on adults’ services could include
details of a new director of adults’ social services post,
community care minister Stephen Ladyman hinted last week.
Speaking at the General Social Care Council’s annual conference,
Ladyman suggested the post could be included in the paper just as
the children’s services director post had featured in the Every
Child Matters green paper last March.
His comments follow a letter from national director of social care
Kathryn Hudson and director of care services Anthony Sheehan to
social services departments and health bodies earlier this month
confirming that a “major role for senior manager in social services
departments” would continue in the future but that the adult
director role was still work in progress.
Ladyman also told delegates at the GSCC conference that the green
paper would demand new ways of working from social workers.
He said that the sector had over-emphasised the protection function
of social care over independent living: “Too often the services we
provide focus too much on decreasing risk. This risk-addressing
does the opposite of what social care should do by undermining
He added that there would be a move towards much more
self-assessment, with service users assessing their own situation
and the resources available and deciding what outcomes they wanted
to achieve. He said that social workers would need to offer
appropriate support to people within this structure and become
brokers for services.
GSCC chief executive Lynne Berry welcomed Ladyman’s comments.
“Social workers are very good at creating packages of care, and
that’s the brokerage role.”
In a paper published this week in response to the announcement of
the green paper, the Association of Directors of Social Services,
the Local Government Association and the NHS Confederation called
on the government to shift the balance of funding away from acute
services into preventive care to help people maintain their
Setting out their ideas for a “radical overhaul of the current care
system”, the three organisations called for simplification of
social care funding, and more flexibility for resources to move
between local government and the NHS when responsibility for care
LGA community well-being board chair David Rogers said: “A review
of social care funding is urgently needed, backed up by real
investment and flexibility from central government.”