Social Workers Take Desperate Measures

Social workers are increasingly at a loss as to what to do when representing vulnerable people in their care to local authorities as council cutbacks mean only people who are deemed to have extensive needs will be catered for.

Elderly clients, people with physical and learning disabilities and those with mental health issues are being denied care more and more, leading some social workers to take matters into their own hands.

A poll by Community Care magazine revealed earlier this month that a third of social workers were prepared to exaggerate a client’s needs in order to ensure they received care services.

Almost three quarters of councils in England are providing care only to people with extremely complex needs, meaning that thousands of people who need help with daily tasks that others take for granted may not qualify for help.

Penny Lloyd of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) said: “I have had some communication from social workers who are most distressed that they are faced with this dilemma.

“As the resources drought continues then this will get worse. Social workers are at times being forced to be the gate keepers.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s You And Yours programme, Ms Lloyd pointed out that people would not be asking for an assessment if they did not have needs.