Councils plan training and recruitment cuts

Councils are cutting recruitment and training budgets for social work and other social care roles as they grapple with recessionary pressures, an exclusive Community Care survey has found.

More than one in 10 have already cut recruitment budgets for social workers this year while the same proportion will do so in the next financial year and another 20% are discussing it.

Three-quarters of councils that have already cut, or plan to cut, their recruitment budgets for social workers, will do so in adults’ services. The survey forms part of a special report by Community Care on the impact of the recession on social care.

In addition, more than half have cut their use of agency or temporary social workers, and almost 20% have cut services for social care users this year.

Meanwhile, 15% have cancelled or postponed capital investment in social work or social care in the current financial year and 8% plan to do so next year, with another 28% considering it. In two cases, the value of the investment would have been more than £1m.

Community Care surveyed councils in England and Wales during November and received 27 responses.

Services under threat – responses from councils

“Review of grants to voluntary organisations”

“Reduction of warden service in sheltered housing”

“After March 2010 services connected with the Mental Health Carers Grant may be at risk”

“All services under scrutiny”

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