JAN 01] COVENTRY CITY COUNCIL NEWS
Social Services On Long Road To Recovery
crisis-ridden social services department can start back on-track
following a big increase in its funding – but difficult times
still lie ahead.
cabinet member in charge of the embattled department, Cllr Kevin
Maton, said they now “had the tools” to do the job.
costs of care, along with demographic changes, meant the
department faced a £5 million overspend.
has been given a one-off £2 million cash injection for next
year’s budget by Coventry City Council, and £4 million more in
its budget over the next two years.
now gives social services an annual budget of £66m - almost a
third of the council's expenditure.
Maton said this would allow investment in things like foster
caring in the city, which would lead to a drop in costs over a
residential homes for children will be built and grants given to
carers to improve their houses so they can take more children on.
will save a lot of cash in the long-run as youngsters will not
have to be transported out of the city to foster homes.
will be extra money for foster carers both in terms of their
allowances and training and support.
extra money is as much money as the council is able to find. The
figures do not cover everything we need.”
trends show that the number of over-85s has risen sharply in
recent years, but this number will become more steady, and reduce
the strain on care provision.
number of children in the city is expected to drop, and with it
the number of children needing to go into care.
Maton said the other major challenge facing the council was the
cost of staff.
said retaining social workers is difficult when there is a
national shortage of professionals, as they can chose to go and
work in more rural areas that tend to have fewer problems and a
less stressful caseload.
he added that the extra money would help achieve this:
is good news but it’s not an opportunity to go away and
celebrate. It gives us the tools to do a difficult job.
got to demonstrate that we are spending the money well and not
[23 JAN 01] SOCIAL SERVICES AND EDUCATION GET £8m MORE