Today, the Department of Social Care have briefed staff and staff side representatives about the recommendations made regarding the response to the Scope of Government Review. Social Care, like all Government Departments have been asked to review all services in the context of the review, and the need to reduce the scale and scope of services directly provided by the Government. No formal decision has yet been made, and ultimately the final decision will be made by the Council of Ministers in due course.
The briefing sessions were to inform staff of the direction of travel for social care services for adults, children and families, social security and housing services. These sessions emphasised that no formal decision had been made, but that the Department had concluded that a number of services should be externalised over the next five years. This includes Resource Centres, some learning disability services, and home care services.
The Department recognises that such a broad programme of change is challenging to staff, particularly at the beginning of a process where detailed information is not available, but would wish to reassure staff, and those who use our services, that more information will be given as soon as the detail is available. The Department would also like to emphasise that there are no proposals to close services, and that it is our aspiration that staff would be transferred to a new provider over time.