Labour pledges £8bn to solve social care ‘crisis’

A Labour government would also establish a National Care Service, ring-fence mental health budgets and 'refocus' children's social care

A Labour government would invest £8 billion in adult social care, establish a National Care Service and ring-fence mental health budgets, according to the party’s election manifesto.

Other pledges made, ahead of the upcoming election on 8 June, include more regulation for commercial fostering agencies, strengthening mandatory reporting duties and continued support for  all current social work education routes, including fast-track options.

The extra funding for adult social care would be spread across the next five years and would alleviate the current “crisis”, the manifesto states.

“This will be enough for providers to pay a real living wage without cutting the quality of care they provide. It will allow implementation of the principles of the Ethical Care Charter, already adopted in 28 council areas, ending 15-minute care visits and providing care workers with paid travel time, access to training and an option to choose regular hours.”

Following this investment, the party would also create a £3 billion a year National Care Service. This would include shared requirements for single commissioning, partnership arrangements, pooled budgets and joint-working arrangements with the National Health Service.


Labour would also “refocus” children’s social care working with families in local areas, and early intervention.

For children who do enter care, the party also said it would extend Staying Put – the government policy which allows young people to stay in foster care until they are 21 – to all children in residential care.

Under a Labour government, private sector organisations, and their subsidiaries, would be prevented from running child protection services and the European Convention on the Rights of the Child would be enshrined in  domestic law.

As well as ring-fencing mental health budgets, a Labour government would increase the proportion spent on children’s mental health services, the manifesto states.

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16 Responses to Labour pledges £8bn to solve social care ‘crisis’

  1. Blue Kin May 16, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

    What about for children whom do not have a LAC status but are Kinship children? These children and families also need support.

    • Letty May 17, 2017 at 10:00 am #

      “The government is currently
      failing to develop a strategy for
      the wholesale improvement of
      the care system that delivers for
      all, not just those children being
      considered for adoption. We will
      promote the care and educational
      achievement of our most vulnerable
      children and increase support for
      children in kinship and foster care,
      and their families. It is important
      that other forms of care, such as
      kinship care and fostering, are not
      marginalised, as this will not result
      in the step-change we need to see
      in outcomes for looked after children.
      Labour will support further regulation
      of commercial fostering agencies,
      as well as commissioning a review
      on establishing a national
      fostering service” – p.87 of their manifesto.

  2. Sylvia stamp May 16, 2017 at 9:49 pm #

    I have worked in social care since 1999, social care has changed and not as easy to just be a carer now with legislation that surrounds the industry, staff are moving out of the care sector due to stress, lone working in home care, travel, causing wear and tear in their cars that is not recoverable,
    Quite honestly you can pay as much as 12 pound an hour but you still can’t get the staff especially in Hampshire, so you can Putnam much money as you like into social care but you still won’t get skilled staff to stay in care

  3. Laura Hilliard May 16, 2017 at 10:52 pm #

    Can you also provide a national database so the sharing of information over boarders is quicker and easier when safeguarding vulnerable children. He amount of time wasted chasing local authorities and filling in information request forms is ridiculous.
    Also the amount of additional need with early intervention and CAMHS involvement is diabolical when working in child protection! It’s disheartening when I see children clearly in need and the resources are not available.

  4. Jon Clark May 17, 2017 at 9:57 am #

    I second Laura Hilliard’s comments, more services for children in need and children at risk of significant harm are required. As well as giving families the support that they desperately need it would also reduce re-referral rates of families and consequently help reduce caseloads. A national database that is used by children, adult and hospital services would greatly improve information sharing and further reduce the risks to vulnerable people.

  5. londonboy May 17, 2017 at 11:12 am #

    This is an eye-opening document to me at least

    Models of care and care pathways to support mental health and wellbeing of looked after children: Findings of call for evidence available from the SCIE website.

    Some stats:-
    No of times the word ‘autism’ appears in the document – 2
    No of times the word ‘disability ‘occurs in the document – 4
    No of times the word ‘ birth family’ occurs in the document – 1

    Programmes to support autistic/LD children – 1 number – Shared Lives affecting 4 young people

    Other Programmes in the ‘Care Industry’, providing support within Care and beyond Care, to Carers but not available to Birth Families at the edge of Care to enable those families to stay together. – RESuLT, INTEGRATE, Integrated residential care service – No Wrong Door , Multisystemic Therapy Family-Integrated Transitions, Needs-led therapeutic model,
    Mockingbird Family Model, Incredible Years, KEEP, TEND, Nurturing Attachments ( incorporates attachment and trauma theory), Head Heart Hands, Reflective Fostering, Mentalisation Based Treatment for Fostering, Fostering Changes Programme, multi-dimensional treatment foster care – TFCO, Specialist therapeutic, long term fostering program (Focus Fostering) -trauma sensitive and attachment focused, The AdOpt parenting programme, Neurophysiological psychiatry (NPP) model (Family Futures)….a multidisciplinary, brain-based, developmental and attachment-focussed intervention for children who have experienced significant trauma in their early life.
    AdOpt, Face to Face, New Orleans Model in Glasgow (GIFT), BOOST pathway,

    All against a backdrop of withdrawal of support to s17 support within families. Anyone else think something is going very wrong here?

    • Glenys Turner May 17, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

      Sounds brilliant to me….Yes holes can always be picked…but look at the devastation this and the previous government have created on the local authority via funding cuts. Do you really want more of the same?????

      • londonboy May 17, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

        I’m not sure of your point Gleynys?

        Either we pay for good universal services for families or we pay to a whole industry of private providers when things go wrong as a result of the failure to provide these services. Providers are pulling money out of the system without any debate or much in the way of scrutiny..and I’m going out on a limb here I know most work to support Carers … not children.

        Most parents with disabled children or children with poor mental health can only imagine what this kind of support would mean for their families.

  6. londonboy May 17, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

    As for the Adoption Support Fund…if this really were about better outcomes for children not shoring up a very shaky adoption policy,, this fund would be available for every child in Care.

  7. colsey May 17, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

    and where is all the money coming from to fund all these grand schemes, not just this one is the only pertinent question for all parties with all their promises

  8. jim kennie May 17, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

    Although Labour have not got a cat in h…s chance of getting in, this sort of rhetoric will no doubt create considerable public pressure on Conservatives to (in their words) ‘do the right thing’ and start to fund social care and its dire needs properly.
    The situation is not helped by a thoroughly over bloated public sector administration service that at least triplicates many policing roles in social care across so many different public agencies.
    Care homes currently are policed by at least 4 different inspectorates all doing the same job albeit with different clashing policies causing mayhem within the home.
    The actual physical care and wellbeing of elderly care home patients has long been forgotten by overzealous paper shuffling public sector enforcers.

  9. Paul Owen May 18, 2017 at 10:41 am #

    Complete tosh.

    Labour won’t get in so make loads of promises it can’t keep and wouldn’t be able to afford anyway without going back to the ‘good old days’ of borrowing loads of dosh leading to another crash and a huge deficit. Re-nationalise anything that moves. Remember British Rail and how ‘good’ that was?

    Anyone who’s been around social care more than 15 years can remember the mess Labour made before they were put out last time. Yes the Conservatives have made a mess and the pay restraints are unfair in the extreme (pay freezes started by the Brown government).

    Again adult social care is promised large sums, and rightfully so! Children’s services are promised a ‘re-focus’ whatever that means. Yes more money spent on CAMHS, please!! But for heaven’s sake please leave us to get on with the job without another load of changes and more damn paperwork.

    In the entire manifesto I can find around 50 ‘half’ lines mentioning Children’s Social Care all popped down in the ‘Local Communities’ section. The majority of this is regarding children in the care system. No real mention of CIN or indeed CP.
    If you’re looking it’s between the compulsory purchase orders and Libraries on pages 86 and 87. Yes you can find references to CAMHS in the NHS section and Sure Start in Education but let’s face it, it’s another kick in the teeth.

    • Al James May 19, 2017 at 10:44 am #

      Paul, granted social care was not perfect before 2010 but it was far better than the crisis after crisis we are seeing today. £4.5bn cut from social care, for what? And it’s added to even more strain on the NHS.

      I also don’t know how you still don’t understand that Labour borrowing (or spending for that matter) did not trigger the global crash in 2008. Before the crash Labour were paying down the debt (which has doubled since 2010), and the budget deficit still wasn’t as much as the Tories in 1992. Read this from an opposing party debunking the myth. You need to get out from the spin otherwise you will never move forward.

    • Henry May 19, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

      Hi Paul, actually it won’t need to borrow a load of dosh, it’s funded by taxing the rich and fully costed – unlike the Conservative manifesto.

      If you remember nationalised services as bad I assume you’re thinking of later on in their life, when the Tory strategy was to defund until everyone was so sick of it they were willing to accept the privatisation, it’s the usual technique by the ruling class to sell off public assets.

  10. Dani May 20, 2017 at 12:48 am #

    Will Labour repeal the plans for Regional Adoption Agencies? The plans are destabilising the sector as workers leave or refrain from joining adoption services.

  11. Jeannettte May 29, 2017 at 3:57 am #

    The reality is whatever care type you are looking at, sadly including NHS now as well as social services – it is largely lip-service. As soon as you look at all complex in terms of need you are given the minimal of real care that will see any real result. Eg. the providers of social care in patient’s homes or care homes are in it for profit employing low grade staff with little skill and inadequate training. CQC reports are often not worth the paper they are written on. Social care itself has so many different ‘sectors’ all with their own hierarchy enjoying high incomes. No wonder little is left to actually give care. Various set ups are now employed to keep people out of hospital – and if you believe that’s for your good think again – what actually happens is that people who had treatable conditions had they been admitted to hospital are kept hobbling along until they become old, chronic/complex patients – a point at which they are no longer considered worth treating. If you do make it into hospital you can look forward to doctors not reading your notes properly, giving you the wrong medication and sending you home having done the least possible. It is all rather barbaric. The NHS an institution I used to be proud of (and worked in) – is at least in London (luckily I no longer live here) – an absolute shambles. Again employees go to collect their cheques. Anyone with any admirable thoughts of doing good are soon disillusioned and feel devalued and powerless (of course with the NHS that includes the patients too). We are a nation good at talking about how much we care but are no longer good at providing it. Of course more money is needed to actually treat patients and the only way to do that is to get rid of the bureaucracy and address skills within these institutions. But more than this we need to start caring again (I think we once did) – this has to be the starting point. Check out the figures for March 2016: The DOH statement is clearly a lie, as anyone waiting for hospital treatment for months could reasonably suppose.