ILF to shut and Cafcass under review in bonfire of quangos

The Independent Living Fund will shut while the future of family courts body Cafcass is in doubt as part of a government cull of quangos, it has emerged. (Image: Dominic's on Flickr)

The Independent Living Fund will shut while the futures of family courts body Cafcass and the Youth Justice Board are in doubt as part of a government cull of quangos, it has emerged.

The BBC Politics Show and The Daily Telegraph today published leaked lists of public bodies that are due to be scrapped, those that are to be retained and those that are still under review.

The lists confirm reports that the ILF, which provides cash payments to fund care for 21,000 disabled people, will be scrapped, with its £360m budget redistributed among local authorities.

An ILF spokesperson said: “We are not prepared to comment on the content of a leaked document and our first priority continues to be to support our 21,000 users to live independently in their communities.”

National Centre for Independent Living chief executive Sue Bott said the abolition of the ILF “fills us with great fear” and warned that severely disabled people entering the care system would lose out without ILF payments to supplement their council funding.

The leaked lists also show that the future of a number of key social care bodies is in doubt, including Cafcass, the Children’s Workforce Development Council, the Youth Justice Board, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and vetting and barring body the Independent Safeguarding Authority. The news follows speculation over Cafcass’s future.

A CWDC spokesperson said: “A list of public bodies allegedly under threat published by the media today is not an an official list and therefore any disclosures before an official announcement by the government at this stage is pure conjecture. We understand that an official announcement will be made by the Government in the coming weeks.”

On the future of the YJB, a spokesperson for the Howard League for Penal Reform said: “We don’t think it matters what form the YJB takes, as long as the principle of having a youth justice system separate from the adults system remains.”

The review of the ISA comes with the vetting and barring scheme it administers also under review. Dai Durbridge, safeguarding lawyer at legal firm Browne Jacobson, said he would be “very surprised” if the government decided to close the ISA without transferring its functions to another body. 

“The ISA was created to bring all of the information and referrals about people working children and vulnerable adults in one place. That process should remain but it could be transferred to the Home Office, Department of Health or Department for Education. I would be very surprised if, after the hundreds of millions of pounds that have been spent and years of telling the sector how important vetting staff is, that the government was to scrap the ISA and not transfer its functions elsewhere.”

Also under review are the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Remploy, a publicly-funded company that provides and sources employment for disabled people, and the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services.

The list of those to be scrapped also includes the General Social Care Council, whose abolition was announced in July.

Other quangos due to close include:-

  • Capacity Builders.
  • The Disability Employment Advisory Committee.
  • Disability Living/Attendance Allowance Advisory Board.
  • Disabled Persons’ Transport Advisory Committee.
  • Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV.
  • Legal Services Commission.
  • Public Guardian Board.

Others under review include:-

  • The Family Justice Council.
  • The Fuel Poverty Advisory Group.

The Care Quality Commission and Ofsted are on a list of quangos that will be retained, however the BBC list says that Ofsted will be subject to “substantial review”. Also her to stay are the Office of the Public Guardian and the Official Solicitor, which protect the rights of people who lack mental capacity, but both could face reform.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence, Skills for Care and the National Skills Academy for Social Care are not listed as they are not quangos, but independent, government-funded bodies; but all three are under review by the Department of Health.

Related articles

What is the alternative to Cafcass?

Independent Living Fund to shut in government cuts



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