A Conservative government would create regional adoption agencies that work across local authority boundaries, the party’s manifesto has pledged.
The manifesto, published today, says the party would continue with the adoption reforms it began in coalition: “We have made progress in reforming our adoption system, but there is more to do.”
The party says regional adoption agencies would help “match children with the best parents for them”.
“Far-reaching powers” over social care would also be devolved to large cities that opt to have elected mayors, though the manifesto does not specify what these would be.
The manifesto also says a Conservative government would integrate health and social care through the Better Care Fund, the system of pooled budgets that comes into force this month, and pilot new approaches to joined-up services between homes, clinics and hospitals.
Capping residential social care charges
The manifesto sets out as pledges measures due to come into force or already in force as a result the Care Act 2014. This includes the cap on individuals’ accrued care costs that comes into force next April, and the deferred payments scheme to prevent people having to sell their home to pay for care, which was introduced this month.
A Conservative government would ensure that women had access to mental health support during and after pregnancy, and the provision of health and community based “places of safety” for people suffering mental health crises, the manifesto pledged.
Other social care pledges from the Conservative manifesto include:
- Supporting commissioners to combine better health and social care services for terminally ill patients so that more people are able to die in a place of their choice
- Continuing to overhaul how police, social services and other agencies work together to protect vulnerable children, with a focus on the kind of sexual exploitation exposed in Rotherham
- Training programmes, including Frontline, will be supported to “continue to raise the quality of children’s social work”
- Enforcing new access and waiting time standards for people experiencing mental ill-health, including children and young people
- Ensuring there are therapists in every part of the country providing treatment for people who need it