A Labour government would invest £8 billion in adult social care, establish a National Care Service and ring-fence mental health budgets, according to the party’s election manifesto.
Other pledges made, ahead of the upcoming election on 8 June, include more regulation for commercial fostering agencies, strengthening mandatory reporting duties and continued support for all current social work education routes, including fast-track options.
The extra funding for adult social care would be spread across the next five years and would alleviate the current “crisis”, the manifesto states.
“This will be enough for providers to pay a real living wage without cutting the quality of care they provide. It will allow implementation of the principles of the Ethical Care Charter, already adopted in 28 council areas, ending 15-minute care visits and providing care workers with paid travel time, access to training and an option to choose regular hours.”
Following this investment, the party would also create a £3 billion a year National Care Service. This would include shared requirements for single commissioning, partnership arrangements, pooled budgets and joint-working arrangements with the National Health Service.
Labour would also “refocus” children’s social care working with families in local areas, and early intervention.
For children who do enter care, the party also said it would extend Staying Put – the government policy which allows young people to stay in foster care until they are 21 – to all children in residential care.
Under a Labour government, private sector organisations, and their subsidiaries, would be prevented from running child protection services and the European Convention on the Rights of the Child would be enshrined in domestic law.
As well as ring-fencing mental health budgets, a Labour government would increase the proportion spent on children’s mental health services, the manifesto states.