The future of social care is constrained with less funding, ageing population and less number of people meeting the eligibility criteria to get the support services.
Even an additional amount worth £2 billion announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review doesn’t serve the purpose. So, there is a need to cut the overall funding in smaller amounts over the next four years to ensure a stable future for social care.
An initiative to reform social care in England has been taken with the declaration of ‘A Vision for Adult Social Care: Capable Communities and Active Citizens’, which is a part of Coalition Agreement commitments. It will serve as a guiding tool to the Law Commission review of adult social care law and the Dilnot Commission on the long term funding of social care. Based on these reviews, the Government would formulate a white paper that would be released in 2011, which would be helpful in framing an adult social care reform bill in 2012.
The report contains set of values and principles, which according to Government can strengthen social care. These values include freedom, fairness, funding of social care, community support and big society approach.
In the vision, the importance of carers has been recognized. Under Older Carers Campaign, there have been calls from Age UK for more financial, practical and emotional support.
Through the vision, the Government wants to convey the message that social care and support users should have personal budgets, if possible in the form of direct payments.
The report says, “Strengthening the voice, choice and control of older people with high support needs will take time and effort to achieve”.