Social workers expecting ‘significant cuts’ to social care funding over coming year

Despite the government increasing social care grants by £1.9bn in 2024-25, most social workers expect resources to be reduced significantly in their area

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Most social workers are expecting “significant cuts” to social care funding in their area in 2024-25, a Community Care poll has found.

This is despite the government allowing councils to raise expenditure on services in general by £4.5bn next year, a 7.5% in cash terms or 5.7% in real terms, dependent on authorities maximising increases in council tax.

Grant funding for social care alone will rise by £1.9bn year on year.

However, while welcoming the additional funding, social care leaders have warned that it is not enough to withstand the sector’s financial pressures.

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In adult social care, councils are expected to be hit with an estimated £1.6bn cost from next month’s rise in the national living wage, while also battling long waiting lists and significant levels of unmet need.

At the same time, the children’s sector is dealing with soaring care placement costs and a rising complexity in children’s needs.

Against that backdrop, one in nine councils have had to seek £2bn in emergency financial support from the government to balance their books.

Over the last few weeks, councils in England have been finalising their budgets for 2024-25. Before that process was completed, we asked practitioners what changes they were expecting to see in social care funding in their area over the coming year.


In a Community Care poll that amassed almost 800 votes, the majority of respondents (79%) said they were expecting cuts, with 61% anticipating significant cuts and around 18% moderate ones.

Only 11% expected an increase, with 7% awaiting a significant one, while 10% thought there would be a standstill in funding.

How is your local authority dealing with the financial pressures on social care in 2024-25?

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