Councils are wrong to cull social workers in their drive to implement self-directed care, the joint head of a new sector-wide partnership to promote personalisation has warned.
Instead, social workers ought to be integral to the implementation of personalisation, said Miranda Wixon, joint chair of the Think Local, Act Personal Partnership, launched today to support development of the agenda.
“That is a misplaced decision [by local authorities],” said Wixon, who also chairs the Care Providers Alliance. “We all know that you can’t leave policy to drive itself through. Social work staff are integral to that.”
She said support planning for people on personal budgets was a core function of councils’ adult social care departments, but conceded that this did not need to be carried out by social workers.
Wixon added that the partnership of more than 30 organisations had also identified leadership as a concern in the development of personalisation.
“There’s a big issue of training the leaders,” she said. “We’ve identified that a lot of the decisions with regards to personalisation fall to people who are not very senior in local authorities.”
Her comments follow warnings from fellow partnership joint-chair Richard Jones that councils that fall short on personalisation and refuse support from the partnership will be referred to ministers or the Care Quality Commission for intervention.
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