Austerity and its' impact on service users - model letter to use to write to your AM
Please copy and paste the text below if you wish to use this model letter to contact your AM re austerity and its impact on service users:
Dear AM Name
As a social worker I am acutely aware of the devastating impact austerity measures are continuing to have on many of the people who use our services. Austerity has hit the poorest people in our society disproportionately, and many of the people we see have problems caused or exacerbated by poverty.
I am writing to you as my local AM to seek your support in Assembly Government for our service users who are in these intolerable situations.
The problems caused by cuts to public services affect both children’s and adult social care services. In adult social care, austerity has contributed to a situation where it is commonly agreed that there will be a huge funding gap by 2020, with the estimate of the respectable think tank, the King’s Fund, being £2.5 billion. There is a similarly dire situation in children’s services, with the Local Government Association, which represents 370 councils across England and Wales, predicting a £2 billion funding gap by 2020.
Councils are already struggling to cope with rising demand for support, with a child being referred to children's services every 49 seconds last year. Then the amount of support services available to support these children has been drastically reduced, given the 40% cut in central government funding to councils since 2010. This has meant the closure of many family support services.
Cuts to benefits and welfare reform have also hit people hard, and social workers have had to become used to referring people to food banks. I find this a terrible, that we are having to call upon charity for people to be able to eat, in our wealthy country in the 21st century, and I sincerely hope that you feel the same about this.
Our professional body, the British Association of Social Workers (BASW), is actively campaigning on this issue and I fully support this campaign and the call to end these austerity measures. On Tuesday, 12th June, a group of social workers are marching from Blackwood, in the South Wales Valleys, to Cardiff, under the banner of Boot Out Austerity! At BASW’s annual conference in Cardiff the next day, one of the themes will be the need for social workers to combat poverty. We need our lawmakers to support us in this respect.
I would be grateful if you could let me know, as my local Member of Parliament, whether we can count on your support, for a reversal of the regime of cuts and for properly funded adults and children’s services, and a humane benefits system.