Changes in Social Care in 2017

Self-care is something that I adamantly advocate. In some cases, self-care can be eating well and ensuring you have some downtime. But there are times in one’s life that one may need help with one’s own care and social care is an integral part of the caring society that we all want to live in. If you need assistance with your care it’s so important to keep up with the Social Work news so you are aware of the key issues. Today I’m sharing with you a rundown of some of the most important changes in the social care world in 2017, and beyond.

The Children and Social Work Bill

This new bill has recently been given the Royal assent – the last step it needs to be written in the law. The Children and Social Work bill which comes into force this year and clarifies each local council and area authority’s position as a ‘corporate parent’ to children in the care system.

This comes with stronger guidelines in some areas and a new government watchdog to be set up in 2018. Some are concerned that this takes regulation away from the Health and Care Professions Council, which is financially and ideologically independent of the government and risks putting short-term political goals above the evidence-based policies social workers have been guided by for so long.

On the other hand, the HCPC currently oversees 16 different health care professions, making it hard for them to give any one of them the dedicated oversight it needs. This new body will be able to focus on the needs of the Social Work profession and ensure it meets the high standards it needs to.

Adult Mental Health Spotlight

The new president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) Margaret Willcox has made her inaugural speech and used it as a chance to raise the profile of Approved Mental Health Professionals and the plight of adults suffering from mental health problems.

She said, “We strive for good mental health but despite great progress and more understanding, people with long-term mental illness still die far earlier than the average adult in this country and the rate of suicide remains a serious concern.”

Other priorities for this incoming president include creating new employment opportunities for people with disabilities, which she hopes to achieve with cooperation with the Department of Work and Pensions.

These new priorities can be expected to affect all those working in adult focussed social work, so it’s worth keeping abreast of Willcox’s work as a president of ADASS. The decisions she makes will filter down to service directors across the country and inform the priorities and resource allocations for those services for the new few years.

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