Social Workers Warn Of Funds Gap

Funding for children’s services in Scotland is facing a £160m shortfall, social work directors have warned. The Association of Directors of Social Work said there had been a 10% rise in the number of children being looked after by local authorities since 2001.

They said there was a 60% gap between what councils were spending and the funds given by the Scottish Executive.

Holyrood’s education committee was set to study the report and expected to call for a funding increase.

The association said there were currently 1,500 children in residential care, 3,600 in foster care, and 7,000 receiving support either at home or in the community.

It said the number of social workers must be increased by a quarter to 4,700 to cope with the extra workload.

Scottish Executive funding has not kept pace, according to the directors.

A report by Professor Arthur Midwinter of Strathclyde University puts the shortfall at £161m or 63% of the budget.