Ladyman promises adult placement regulation within a month

    Community Care minister Stephen Ladyman has said the government
    will produce new adult placement regulations before the summer
    recess, writes Derren Hayes

    With less than a month until MPs suspend formal business until
    October, campaigners had been concerned the new regulations –
    which propose regulating adult placement schemes rather than carers
    themselves – could be delayed.

    Speaking at Thursday’s annual National Association of
    Adult Placement Services conference in Coventry, Ladyman said the
    timescale was on track and the regulations would be published
    shortly.

    He said the majority of the 66 responses to the consultation
    were in favour of the proposal and he shared the sector’s
    anxiety to speed the changes through quickly. A recent NAAPS/Topss
    England survey found that hundreds of adult placement carers had
    reduced the care they provided or left the service altogether
    because of increased regulation (news, page 11, 10 June).

    “Changes will lift the burden of regulation from carers
    and place legal accountability on schemes. They will ensure adult
    placement activity is covered by regulation to provide protection
    for service users and enable the provision of a diverse and
    flexible range of services,” Ladyman said.

    John Dixon, social services director at West Sussex, told
    delegates it was a “scandal” there was only 6,500 adult
    placements in England. He put the blame for this with councils.

    “It’s been too far off local authorities’
    agendas. What would the government say if councils didn’t
    promote foster care? Directors of social services should sleep as
    uneasily in our beds if we don’t have a quality adult
    placement scheme as we do if we don’t have a quality
    fostering scheme.”

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