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

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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