CHILDREN'S SERVICES

Budget 2018: £800m cash injection for social care

Social care has been given an £800m boost in the Budget after chancellor Philip Hammond said he recognised the ‘immediate pressures’ local authorities were facing.

Social care has been given an £800m boost in the Budget after chancellor Philip Hammond said he recognised the ‘immediate pressures' local authorities were facing.

Mr Hammond announced £650m grant funding for social care in 2019/20, £55m extra for the Disabled Facilities Grant in 2018/19 and £84m over the next five years for up to 20 councils with ‘high or rising numbers of children in care'.

Some £240m of the £650m will exclusively be for adult social care.

The remaining £410m will be fought over by adult and children's social care departments.

It comes on top of a £240m winter cash boost for adult social care announced at the Conservative Party conference.

Mr Hammond said: 'Local government has made a significant contribution to repairing the public finances and this Budget ensures local councils have more resources to deliver high quality public services.'

He added the cash would allow councils to improve services for older people, people with disabilities and for children in care now while longer-term funding decisions will be made in next spring's Spending Review.

But president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Glen Garrod, said: 'The detail in the Budget creates an invidious situation affecting older and disabled people locally. 

'Their needs will be competing with those of different council departments, projected overspends, dwindling or exhausted reserves, supporting NHS needs and the needs of children and young people.'

President of the Association of Directors of Children's Services, Stuart Gallimore, said: 'While any additional funding is to be welcomed, we need five times this amount just to plug the funding gap expected in children's services by 2020.

'We are becoming increasingly concerned at the Government's piecemeal approach to funding children's services.

'Ad hoc, time-limited pots of funding for some local areas and not others falls woefully short of the sustainable and equitable long-term investment in children and young people that is required to ensure high quality, safe services are available for them at the earliest opportunity.'

Shadow local government secretary, Andrew Gwynne, described the £84m for children's services as a ‘drop in the ocean to councils that are struggling'.

There was no further news on the long-awaited social care Green Paper, which is understood to have been delayed until December.

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