CWN - News & Information for Coventry & Warwickshire 20x21spacer.gif (59 bytes)What's New?Search CWN
Social Services On Long Road To Recovery

Coventry’s crisis-ridden social services department can start back on-track following a big increase in its funding – but difficult times still lie ahead.

The cabinet member in charge of the embattled department, Cllr Kevin Maton, said they now “had the tools” to do the job.

Spiralling costs of care, along with demographic changes, meant the department faced a £5 million overspend.

It 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.

This now gives social services an annual budget of £66m - almost a third of the council's expenditure.

Cllr Maton said this would allow investment in things like foster caring in the city, which would lead to a drop in costs over a long period.

Smaller residential homes for children will be built and grants given to carers to improve their houses so they can take more children on.

This 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.

Cllr Maton said:

 “There will be extra money for foster carers both in terms of their allowances and training and support.

“The extra money is as much money as the council is able to find. The figures do not cover everything we need.”

Population 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.

The number of children in the city is expected to drop, and with it the number of children needing to go into care.

Cllr Maton said the other major challenge facing the council was the cost of staff.

He 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.

But he added that the extra money would help achieve this:

“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.

“We’ve got to demonstrate that we are spending the money well and not wasting it.”


1x22rule.gif (89 bytes)
John Green Personnel Services

150x15more.gif (274 bytes)


Win prizes every day with the CWN competition!

Looking for a job? Look at CovJobs

Have your say on TalkZone!

CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 24 Jan 01
©1995-2000 Coventry Internet Developments Ltd This page updated 22 August 2004