Set-piece rows serve no useful purpose
We are glad Karen Reeve (Letters, 18 November) enjoyed this year’s NCAS Conference in Manchester. The social care sector has had its fill, in the past, of set piece head-to-head arguments between ministers and audiences publicly at our annual conferences. Whenever it has happened it is incontrovertibly true that nobody – citizens who use services, ministers, politicians or professionals – has benefited a single jot from the confrontation.
We’d like to reassure Ms Reeve, though, that Adass and ADCS have taken every opportunity to make our position quite clear. We have been making representations over the past months to make sure that the importance of services to children, young people, adults and older people have been understood.
We are continuing to make those representations, while central and local government examine the detailed, council-by-council settlements that are due to be published shortly, at a time when councils will have some very challenging and tough decisions to take to balance budgets while delivering personalisation.
Richard Jones, President, AdassMarion Davis, President
Wrong use of volunteers
I read that ministers are considering a scheme allowing volunteers who help the elderly or disabled to earn time credits for their own care later in life (news, 4 November,).
Bad idea. Most volunteers are good, kind people, but these sort of schemes can be used by unscrupulous villains to find the address of vulnerable people.
I gave up over 16 years of my life to care for my elderly/infirm parents as they could not cope in their council flat and dreaded going to a nursing home. Eventually I had to give up my secure, full-time job as they needed full-time care and had come to live with me. Also I have cared for my disabled son all his life since he was born in 1953. I have never been eligible to receive any financial compensation such as Carers’ Allowance. It struck me – what sort of credit would I get if this daft scheme was put into effect?
Barbara MacArthur, Cardiff
Best use of volunteers
Unison asks if the Volunteers in Child Protection scheme represents a “casual attitude towards child protection?”(news, 4 November). Far from replacing or diluting the role of social workers, volunteers work in partnership with professionals and add value to the work they do.
The volunteers enhance the support offered and greatly improve the lives of families with one or more children suffering neglect and who are at risk of significant harm. The volunteers have no statutory powers but can create a positive relationship with families offering advice, support and ultimately assisting them in turning a chaotic, dysfunctional home into a happy, stable and safe environment.
Currently, all children supported have successfully completed their child protection plan and in the London Borough of Bromley none have been re-registered to the plan.
The scheme was evaluated in 2007 by Jane Tunstill, of Kings College London who found that “the scheme substantially increases the capacity of children’s departments to deliver family support to vulnerable families.”
Many volunteers have been inspired by their experience to become social workers thus contributing and adding value to the profession rather than taking from it.
Jill Williams, Volunteers in Child Protection and CSV development director
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