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BASW responds to the 2018 Autumn Budget

The pain is certainly not over for families at the sharp end of austerity

BASW sees the Budget as another missed opportunity for the Chancellor to fully realise and address the unrelenting demand and chronic challenges facing a social care system close to breaking point.

While injections of cash to ease social care winter pressures and £650m of grant funding for local authorities is welcome, it doesn’t get to the root of solving the current social care crisis.

Ten years of austerity policies have caused untold harm to children, adults and families with care and support needs.

Nothing less than structural change is required to deal with the consequences from a decade of deterioration.

Take children’s services for example. As one of more than 120 organisations who recently called for Phillip Hammond to put children at the heart of the budget, we are disappointed to see that yet again they have been largely forgotten.

Cuts to early intervention and community-based services like Sure Start have been particularly harmful to families, resulting in the highest number of children going into care since the mid-1980’s.

According to the Local Government’s Association, children’s services requires £3 billion just to keep hundreds of thousands of children from reaching crisis point.

Meanwhile, social workers are struggling to provide the services that they are trained to deliver, spending less time with children and their families, and leaving the profession at an ever-increasing rate because the pressures of caseloads and lack of support.