Baby P aftermath set to dominate conference

The aftermath of the Baby Peter case is set to dominate the annual gathering of social care professionals. The annual meeting of social services experts in Harrogate gets underway after months of soul-searching following the case of the murdered boy, which has renewed pressure on social workers.

Judges are currently deciding on the appeal brought by Haringey LBC’s former director of social services, Sharon Shoesmith, who was in charge of the department at the time of the boy’s death and sacked after the intervention of education secretary Ed Balls.

Britain’s ageing population is also adding to concern as councils struggle to provide services will limited budgets and the prospect of further cuts in the future.

The Local Government Association warned that reforming the system could not be delayed any longer.

Cllr David Rogers, Chair of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said: ‘Let’s be clear, we cannot wait any longer to fix the system. The combination of insufficient funding, increased demand from an ageing society and escalating costs is already placing an immeasurable strain on adult social care.

‘Town halls are doing an incredible job ensuring that the vulnerable members of our society get the services they need, but the system is not fit for the challenges of the 21st century. As we strive to meet those challenges local government must be at the heart of change because councils know their residents best.’