The new president of the Association of Directors of Social Services has vowed to press the government to increase investment in both adult and children’s services.
Addressing the National Social Services Conference, Julie Jones said neither the children’s nor the emerging adults’ services reform programmes were adequately resourced, particularly in terms of preventive services.
She said: “We will need to work with our partners this coming year to persuade government that there is still under-investment in social care and there is a need to ‘invest to save’ if we are to have a chance of modernising our services.”
Jones said the ADSS should lobby for investment in preventive care on the assumption that this would cut future demand for intensive services.
She also raised questions about the new annual performance assessment for children’s services, saying there was evidence that judgements were “too dependent on the particular skills and approach taken by individual inspectors”.
Jones also acknowledged the parallel conference organised by disabled people’s groups in protest against council procurement exercises that have seen funding withdrawn from user-led centres for independent living, causing many to close.
She said: “The parallel conference has asked ADSS to help with the procurement processes that are killing service user-led organisations. We see it as urgent to engage in dialogue to that end.”