Have your say

This week’s Have your say forum is on the subject of
smacking of children. Do you think that smacking should be banned
in England and Wales? Would this make the work of child protection
workers easier?

Have your say by clicking here Your
responses will appear here on Wednesday 3 April.


These are the responses we received to last week’s Have
your say discussion forum on the government’s home care

I work as a social worker [adults] – with most
of my cases with older people. The general thrust of change from
residential care to care in the community is welcomed. However
there are serious funding and resource implications to the

1. The issue of risk – that cannot be managed by domiciliary
support. This particularly at night where care service are a]
extremely expensive and b] almost impossible to obtain especially
at short notice.

2. The issue of the anxieties that some people experience living
on their own at night.

3. Paradoxically, and contrary to growing political and
professional momentum some very small research, as part of the
consultation under Best Value revealed that service users in a
local authority residential home 1] highly valued the service they
received 2] would absolutely refuse to consider moving back into
the community 3] all listed anxiety at night time as the principal
reason for not wishing to return.

NB All service users in this small sample were chosen on the
basis that they were able to express their own views without
assistance from carers.

I am concerned that were residential care to seriously [and
permanently] ‘disappear’ from the social care landscape and that
people believed that 24-hour care would be available in their own
homes, this perception would hardly be matched by the paucity of
resources and resource funding to achieve this.

There are positives on the horizon with the growing use of very
sheltered accommodation which may address some of these needs. This
will of course switch the financial burden from social services to
housing benefit. Despite the ‘Berlin Wall’ between health and
social services being eroded there is some naivety at governmental
level if it is believed that local authority departments are not
protective about their own budgets. I speak from an authority where
housing and social services [but not housing benefit] are within
the same directorate. Seamless budgeting to prevent this in-house
dispute should be given consideration at a higher level than

Steve Hopkinson

Home care cannot provide everything. It may be
able to provide the necessary physical support needed, and I agree
that whilst someone wants to be independent, every recourse for
them should help them to continue to have their independence.
However, not everyone chooses to go on struggling to live alone,
especially if they are in constant pain or suffering from anxiety,
their greatest need may be for company and emotional warmth and

In my opinion there is a place for small family run homes with
one to four adults needing care who are treated as family

Ultimately the issue is about allowing people in need to have
choices and the ability to move or change their care arrangements
if they are unhappy.

Jill Forrest

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