Most councils are planning savage cuts to adult social care but intend to protect children’s services from financial pain, public finance chiefs have found.
A survey by the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy, which represents council finance heads, has found 59% of councils in England and Wales plan to cut adult social care budgets, by an average of 7%.
While a greater proportion – 87% – are planning cuts to children’s services in 2010-11 these average 1%.
The findings have sparked concerns that concerns over safeguarding, fuelled by the baby Peter case and its aftermath, have led councils to protect children’s services at the expense of adult care, despite massive demographic pressures on the latter.
As Community Care has reported, many councils would have to increase their adult care budgets substantially to keep pace with rising demand, meaning a number are increasing their budgets slightly in cash terms while also making cuts or efficiency savings. It is not known whether Cipfa has identified a cut of 7% in real or cash terms.
Thirty nine councils provided information on their plans for adults’ and children’s services.