Sixty Second Interview with Anne Williams
By Amy Taylor
Anne Williams will become the vice president of the Association of Directors of Social Services in October when current vice president John Coughlan becomes president.
What do you envisage being your main priorities in your new role as vice president of the Association of Directors of Social Services?
To work with the President’s team to:
• Plan the establishment of the new bodies
• Ensure we continue our work as leaders of social care – contributing to government thinking, commenting on consultation policy documents etc
• To prepare for and contribute to implementation of the White Paper, “Our Health, Our Care, Our Say”
• To contribute to the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007
ADSS is going through a state of change at the moment (the body is due to split its adult and children’s services functions) and you are set to become the first president of the new adult body – The Association of Directors of Adult Services. When do you anticipate the split taking place and you taking up your new position?
The plans envisage the new Association of Directors of Adult Services being launched at the same time I become President October 2007.
As Vice President, I will play a key role in the preparation for this beginning in October 2006.
What do you think may be some of the main areas you will be working on in your role as head of the adult services body once it has been created?
Ensuring the new organisation takes forward the broadening role of social care to well-being and inclusion. To ensure the Policy Committee structures focus on key areas for the future e.g. continue development as commissioners of services. To ensure the new Association of Directors of Adult Social Care continues to build on ADSS’ reputation to be a high profile, influential, respected organisation. To work across government with departments which have a key influence on adult social care, well-being and inclusion e.g. ODPM, Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Department of Work and Pensions.
The green paper on adult social care (now a joint adult social care and health white paper) proposed that the plans it contained would be ‘cost neutral’ but the government has now recognised that more resources will be required. Do you see lobbying for adequate resources for adult social care as likely to be a key part of your role as head of the adult services body?
ADSS has continuously lobbied for adequate resources for social care and has used the annual budget survey results to evidence shortfalls. This work will continue, but with the added impetus of the comprehensive spending review 2007. ADSS is closely involved in work contribution to the CSR. Securing adequate resources for Adult Social Care with demographic change etc., will be a key part of the role of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care as the future shape and level of funding for social care, or the thinking about it, is likely to develop over several years following the Wanless Report and this forthcoming spending review.
Do you think your experience as co-chair of the ADSS resources committee will stand you in good stead for your new roles?
Yes. Being Co-chair of ADSS Resources Committee has meant that I have had opportunities to work with the Department of Health and I am already working as part of a team on the comprehensive spending review. It has also given me excellent experience in understanding the national position in relation to funding for social care and opportunities to brief journalists, speak at conferences etc.