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BASW on the 2018 Spring Statement: No ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for the most vulnerable in our communities

The Chancellor described economic forecasts today as the light at the end of the tunnel, yet that is a vision unseen for the most vulnerable in our communities who once again are left in the dark following precious little talk, let alone a commitment, on funding social care.

Phillip Hammond failed to mention social care or social work at all in his Spring Statement, just as he did in 2017’s autumn Budget. Meanwhile, pressure on the social work profession and those that need services continues to increase.

Years of biting austerity cuts has made many areas of public service unsustainable.

Yet social care is crucial to sustaining people’s health and their contribution to society – there can be no economic health without social health.

Additional funding for the NHS is not enough and will not help to reduce demand on acute services in the way social care investment can.

The urgency to reverse this situation cannot be underestimated. In children’s services, for example, demand for services is increasing, as evidenced in the Government’s annual statistics showing child protection plans reached a record high in 2016.

Meanwhile, resources to meet this demand are dwindling, as revealed by The Local Government Association (LGA) which recently calculated that children’s services are facing a £2 billion funding gap by 2020.

BASW is working hard to have our message heard in the corridors of power, to influence the Government to deliver the resources needed that the most vulnerable in society desperately need.