Support needed to sustain social care

I've called on the Scottish Government to support social work after an Audit Scotland report found services will not be sustainable in the long term.

Audit Scotland reported that councils spend £3.1 billion a year on social work services but will need to find between £510 million and £667 million by 2020 if they are to continue to provide services in the same way.

It also cited risks that reducing costs further would damage services in the long run.

Audit Scotland has laid bare the scale of the challenges facing councils and the new integrated boards.

Councils are already feeling the impact of the Scottish Government’s £500 million cuts to their budgets this year.

The prospect of having to help find £500 million more for social work by 2020 or make further savings will be a daunting one.

Putting social work on a sustainable footing will require robust support from the Scottish Government and for all parties to work together with professionals and users to find solutions.

We need to protect the services that 300,000 people, from looked-after children to adults in care homes, rely upon on a daily basis.

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