William Eichler 22 September 2016

Social work in Scotland at ‘watershed’ moment

Social work in Scotland at ‘watershed’ moment image

Public service users must play a more active role in shaping the future of social work in Scotland, report says.

The local government spending watchdog, the Accounts Commission, estimates social work will need up to £667m a year extra to function - on top of the £3.1bn already spent on providing services to vulnerable people.

A new report for the Accounts Commission, prepared by Audit Scotland, found this could only be avoided if new ways of delivering services are implemented.

The study argued this would require a wider debate with local people on the level, nature and affordability of services, and it also proposed more work is needed to involve users in how services are designed, commissioned and run.

Since 2011/12 social work spending has increased by 3%, according to the report, while overall councils' spending has fallen by 11%.

On top of these funding pressures, demand has also increased. The number of looked after children, for example, has risen by 36% since 2000.

Councils have made savings by reducing services and cutting costs.

Douglas Sinclair, chair of the Accounts Commission, said: ‘A critical test for any civilised society is how it provides for the needs of its most vulnerable people. Councils have coped well in recent years but Scotland is now facing a watershed.

‘Increasing pressures on social work and rising expectations of what it should deliver can only intensify. Now is the time for some frank discussions and hard choices. It is vital that people who use and provide services - and the wider public - are actively involved in that debate on future provision.’

Highways jobs

Director, Governance and Improvement

City of York Council
£85-95k plus relocation package
We are looking for an exceptional individual to be appointed to the position of Director of Governance and Improvement. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Casual Cleaning Assistant

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 2 - Currently £9.00 per hour
It's exciting times at Riverside Leisure Centre with a brand-new centre opening in June 2019 and we need you to get on board and help us make this ... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Senior Team Leader

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 to £38,994 per annum inclusive
Looking for individuals with initiative, evidence of experience in managing a street cleansing service and motivating... Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Junior Service Desk Analyst

Chelmsford City Council
Full Time, 37 Hours, 12 Month Fixed Term Contract
We are seeking an enthusiastic, adaptable and proactive analyst to join our Service Desk team to provide customer focused first line IT technical s... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Part Time Receptionist

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 3 - Starting at £17,931 per annum, pro rata and rising to £19,131 per annum, pro rata
Join our friendly team welcoming our customers to the South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre. You will be flexible, self-motivated and able to deal c... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The March issue of Local Government News explores alternative funding channels that are available to councils beyond the Public Works Loan Board, what hurdles merging councils face in coming together, and how local government is handling GDPR.

This issue also has a special highways and street lighting section exploring how councils can use lighting to embark on their smart city journey and using IoT technology to weather the storm.

Register for your free magazine