Social services chiefs ‘too soft on ministers’, says sector

Social Care sector chiefs are giving ministers too much of an easy time as cuts begin to bite, according to Community Care readers.

In an online poll asking whether social care chiefs were being too soft with ministers, 91% of respondants voted ‘yes’, with just 9% disagreeing.

The poll follows debate after a series of ministers were welcomed to the National Children and Adult Services Conference in Manchester in November.

Karen Reeve, head of children’s social care at Reading Council, wrote to Community Care describing her sadness over the “deafening silence at the conference from the leadership of the two directors’ associations about the impact of the cuts”.

“To be told by the presidents to ‘face facts’, ‘cease opportunities’ and face up to ‘radical reform’ and for them not to have, even in passing, mentioned to the political leadership of the Department for Education, the very real concern about the impact on prevention and early intervention, was a real mistake,” she wrote.

Richard Jones, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, and Marion Davis, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, insisted that the sector had “had its fill” of arguments between ministers and audiences.

In response to Community Care‘s poll, the duo issued a statement insiting that they “deeply valued” readers’ views.

“In this instance, however, we must agree to differ about the best way of keeping social care issues on the political agenda and ensuring politicians have access to constructive, informed and professional advice about the impact of their decisions on the most vulnerable,” they said.

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